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Communicating with your Teenager

There are countless delights that coincide with being a parent. Seeing your child succeed at something that was difficult for them or having them say “I love you” to you are just a couple of examples. But for all the joyful instances that parents will experience, they will undoubtedly undergo numerous hardships as well that will be both stressful and upsetting. One of the most difficult periods of child rearing is the teenage years. During this time, there are so many emotional and physical changes that are occurring which can present many obstacles for your child. As a teenager, your child may be feeling like they don’t fit in or that they are misunderstood. These types of feelings often times will lead to acts of rebellion or cause teenagers to be disrespectful of distant from their parents. If you are a parent of a teenager and are looking for some advice on how to make your child’s teenage years as happy and stress-free as possible, then you are going to want to read this article as it offers helpful parenting tips.
Open communication is a key component of establishing an amenable and loving relationship with your teenager. Invoking a more dictatorial parenting style in which you try to control your teenager’s behavior, may prove to be ineffective. This parenting approach may succeed with younger children, but if parents attempt to control the behavior of their teenagers, the teenagers are likely to fight back and engage in acts of rebellion. As teenagers, it is important for parents to remember that their children are just starting to become more independent and to develop their own personal thoughts and opinions about the world that they live in. As a result, it is not advisable for parents to make anything strictly forbidden from their teenagers. Rather, parents should seek to create open lines of communication and talk to their teenagers as if they were adults to try and discern why they are acting the way that they are.
An effective tactic that can help parents communicate better with their teenagers is to schedule specific times to sit down and converse with them. These pre-scheduled meetings can occur anywhere from once a week to everyday. Although, fitting in an hour or so of conversation with your teenager everyday may prove to be a difficult task what with trying to work around not only your own busy schedule but your teenager’s as well, which is likely to be full of club meetings, homework, and sports practice. Therefore, it is probably best to shoot for scheduling conversations between 1 and 3 times per week. During these conversations, it is important that the entire focus be on creating a stronger relationship between yourself and your teenager. This means no distractions i.e. cell phones, television, I-pods, computers etc.
If you decide to try this tactic, remember to listen to your teenager and really try to empathize with them. At times, teenagers can feel very lonely and like they are not respected. You were once a teenager too. Try to remember what it was like for you when you were your child’s age and try to see things from their points of view. This is not to say, however, that when your teenager commits a wrongdoing that you should go easy on them all the time. Instead, when this type of situation arises, talk to your teenager as an adult, explaining to them why their behavior was inappropriate and asking them why they acted the way that they did.
Parenting teenagers is by no means an easy feat, but if you heed the advice in this article and strive to establish open lines of communication, you can make your child’s teenage years much more tolerable for both you and your child.

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