Maintaining Close Relationship With Teens: Key to Healthy, Happy Teens
As a parent, maintaining a close relationship with teens can be hard. Some parents of younger children are looking ahead and wondering, even fearful of what may be in store for them and their soon-to-be teenage children. Other parents are in the thick of the battle wondering if it will always be this difficult. And then there are the parents who have raised their kids and made it through the teenage years.
Teens and Adolescence
Teenage kids have to go through a lot of things that make life difficult in this period of their young lives. Some major changes are about to take place, or may already be taking place. Their bodies are changing and they are literally being physically transformed day by day into someone whom they do not even recognize in the mirror.
The way teenage kids think is also changing as they are bombarded with so many different messages from so many different sources and value systems. Imagine what it must be like to navigate through the everyday challenges of life.
Maintaining close relationship with teens, is hard as feelings are also changing. A lot of this goes along with what’s happening to them physically. Girls who are developing a figure must now contend with the way they are now perceived by those around them, especially their male friends. Teen boys are turning into young men and realizing they now look different. That’s a lot to handle emotionally for both sexes.
Stressful Time for Teens
Parents don’t need to imagine what all this transformation and adolescence is like because parents have been here before. But it’s important for parents to remember that while these experiences are similar in many ways, they are also unique to each individual. What worked for a parent during their own teen years may not work for today’s teens.
Teens today face a whole bunch of challenges that did not even exist just a few years ago. The same problems of changing feelings and bodies are now dealt with in the context of unlimited media sources and instantaneous information – and the last thing a teen needs is instantaneous anything. It’s time to get help.
Getting Help for Teens
It’s time for parents to understand that there are a great many things that parents do not understand. That lack of knowledge is the very reason it is vital for parents to cultivate and maintain a close relationship with a teenage child. Parents of younger pre-teens should begin to build on toward that relationship now. Parents of teens currently should make every effort to encourage honest and forthright communication with teens.
Think about this; nobody will be honest and forthright in an environment where they are ridiculed, criticized, or made to feel inferior for behavior that even they do not fully understand. Teens won’t be open with parents unless they feel safe. Parents should do whatever is necessary to create an environment where being open and honest is OK. Teens must feel that they can go to parents with anything, and they will be accepted where they are, encouraged to do better, and loved unconditionally.