I read a very interesting article in “One Tough Job.org” which shared guidelines on having a GREAT relationship with your teenager. I found the article very interesting and the strategies are ones that I have actually used during my parent life coaching sessions, so I wanted to share it with my readers.
Out of the gate, I must say that raising teens is an adventure that is manageable if you arm yourself with the proper tools.
It might look like your teen is not interested in what you are doing and specially what you are saying, but the TRUTH of the matter is that our teens need us now more than ever. Yes, they are busy and at this time in their lives their friends mean a lot to them, but remember, you are the parent, you have been there from the beginning of their time. Choosing to spend time with your teen and LISTENING without JUDGMENT is paramount. I don’t know how you feel about what you just read, you may need to take a deep breath because LISTENING & NON JUDGMENT is the key to a POSITIVE relationship with your teen.
There are 4 suggestions the article features to have a more positive relationship with your teen: Be actively interested in your teen’s life, Talk with your teen, not at them, Share things with your teen and Schedule in family time.
Be actively interested in your teen’s life – I heard a strategy that Our First Lady Michelle Obama uses with her girls and I immediately began using this strategy with mine girls. On the ride back from school I asked two questions, Share a rose with me from today’s experience and share a thorn with me from today’s experience. I found that when Cat got in the car, she was ready to share. In about 5 minutes I was able to gauge the type of day she had and she was happy to share. Become the Mom to their group. I was a Drama Mom, a Color Guard Mom, a Super Star Mom, whatever the girls were involved in, there I was in the mix of things. Some of their friends actually called me a cool Mom. I was the Mom giving rides to their friends whose parents were to busy to pick them up from whatever activities they were having. Needless to say NieCat were physically not happy about this, but I knew in their Hearts they appreciated me being there! Well, at least that is how I am telling the story! 🙂
Talk with your teen, not at them – I go back to one of my first blog post ever. Please remember what it was like being a teen! Stop preaching! When ALL you do is preach, your teen will tune you out. Have a discussion! LISTEN! Listen to what your teen says and actually give it some thought! Listen!
Share things with your teen – Share your past experiences. Let your teen know you were a teen once. My Girls use to LOVE to hear that I got in trouble with GrandPaPa! That would be the highlight of our conversations. Share what is going on right now with them. Explain to them why at this time you may not be able to pay for that $500 ring. Tell the TRUTH. They can handle it, and they will know you are Human! Sometimes our teens think we are not from this world!
Schedule in family time – The time you are experiencing now with your teen will NEVER come back! Choose to make time for your teens. Sometimes when I come home from a crazy day as a school administrator I have nothing else to give the world, so I invite the girls to my room (actually they just follow me to my room) and we all lay in my bed and talk. I am resting my body and my brain, I am listening to my Girls and that is considered family time! Visit them in their room, at your own Risk that is! Don’t criticize how junky and smelly their room is (I must work on this one), just be, see where the conversation leads you!
Our teens are enjoying a very challenging stage, as parents we MUST choose to do parenting differently to achieve teen parenting success!
Happy Teen Parenting,
Coach Arthur, Cerfified Professional Life Coach