Parenting Teenagers: Understanding the Issues and Tips for Building a Better Relationship

Raising a teenager is probably more difficult than you ever imagined. As your children develop into adults, they naturally will go through some behavioral changes that can cause stress throughout the household. However, the issues surrounding a strained parent-teenager relationship don’t always fall on the shoulders of your son or daughter. If your child is having a tough time at home or in school, or even showing signs of depression and anxiety, now is the time to familiarize yourself with the issues and make a proactive change in your life, as well as that of your son or daughter.

Signs of a Failing Relationship with Your Teenager

In some cases, your parenting style can be just as much to blame as your child’s actions. The lack of a proper parenting background in conjunction with a suddenly rebellious child, can create a myriad of problems for the entire family. Adding in that some parents want discipline and responsibility from a child, all while failing to put forth the proper structure and guidance themselves, further damages the relationship. While many parents might not want to hear this, understanding that complications in the parenting process come from both sides is vital to getting back on track and forging a healthy relationship.

Tips for Bridging the Gap

To get back on level ground with your teen, consider some tips that you can implement at home or with the help of a therapist. To start, put an emphasis on spending time together and paying attention to the important things in your child’s life. This way you can build a better avenue for communications with your son or daughter, all while having a little fun. Setting aside time for ice cream or a walk and just listening can make a world of difference in your child’s life. If you have multiple teenagers, remember that one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to parenting, so try and adjust accordingly so that you can interact with each child in a unique way.

During this time together, be sure to avoid lecturing and respect privacy. Nothing can make a talk go sour faster than going off on the same rant or tirade that clearly hasn’t worked before. Think of it this way – if you were your son or daughter, would you want them berating you and forcing themselves into your private matters? While you are the parent and an authority figure, showing a little respect will help you gain more ground than yelling ever did.

The Benefits of Working Together

Once you and your teenager start to communicate and respect one another, your relationship can evolve into a far more stable and understanding bond. This will give you the chance to share mutual respect and values, leading to enhanced communication and an understanding of the difference between being an authority in his or her life and a person who simple screams and yells. With this kind of structure and guidance, your child can truly begin to thrive and grow into a responsible and caring person.

Kathleen Mills

Kathleen is a creative and gifted therapist who has extensive experience in helping children, adolescents, and adults with a variety of issues.