Teens will test their parents in every possible way.  When they do, a stressed out parent may react in ways that don’t always build relationship.  If you are in need of strengthening your relationship, consider implementing some of the following:

Spend one-on-one time together each week.  Take you child out to breakfast or lunch.  Even if they resist, you must insist.  Make it a weekly habit.

Talk to your teen.  Be prepared with topics that will be interesting to your teen.  You don’t have to have lengthy conversations.  Ask the right kind of questions.  Find out their opinion, or how they might do something, or where they would go.  Never belittle their opinion.

Listen more.  Resist the temptation to lecture or tell your teen what you think.  Teens don’t really listen until they can become discussion initiators.  Step back and let them take the lead.

Do something fun together.  Play paintball, go horseback riding, go camping, canoeing, laser tag, take a day-trip, do something spur of the moment.  Do something they like to do.  Make happy memories together.

Establish boundaries.  Be a parent – acting more like a friend can hurt, not help, your relationship.  Tell them what you expect.  Clearly establish your rules for the household, school work, & extra-curricular activities.

Correct and discipline.  Even when it makes you feel uncomfortable, your teen needs to know you love them enough to correct them when they break your rules or the rules of society.  And be sure to reward a teen for good behavior with more privileges and freedom.

 

Your kids learn more from watching you than you can imagine.  Be the kind of adult you want your teen to become.  Serve others.  Love others.  Forgive others.

For more information please visit Jupiter Community Counseling or call (561) 748-1244