While your little one’s childhood is the most fantastic time to cherish, have fun, laugh and gather beautiful memories; the teenage period is totally opposite.
It can be a challenging period for both you and your child. For most of the time, you’d be surrounded with questions like- How shall I talk seriously without getting him/her upset or angry? How shall I make conversation effective to really change things? Will she or he understand my perspective? And whatnot.
Relatable, right? Well, relax and take a deep breath first. Now, accept that your child is going through his or her terrible teens. And, like everything else, this too shall pass!
All you have to do is change your role slightly as a parent. Here are some tips for getting you started to talk to your teenager:
Listen with absolutely no judgements. This is the first step towards having a meaningful conversation with your kid. If you ask direct questions, your teen could misunderstand it with spying. Whereas, if you just listen, you’ll automatically know what’s going in his or her life and find effective ways to help.
Try to find a middle ground. In any relationship, conflicts are bound to happen. Teach your kid the subtle art of finding a middle ground and collaboration. A simple way to do this is by using the I-YOU-WE approach.
I listen to You.
YOU listen to me.
Then We sort this out together.
Listen to your heart and validate your feelings. Let’s suppose that your kid told you something which is absolutely unacceptable from your point of view. Rather than getting angry or upset about it, just say, “I know this isn’t easy for you. But we’ll figure it out!” When you empathize from heart, kids don’t feel blamed, shamed or judged and this makes them more open towards us.
Praise them. Do you realize that you always praised or laughed at things that your kid did when she was younger? Well, adolescents need the self-esteem boost just as much or even more. While your young person might act like they’re too cool to care about what their parents think, the truth is your opinion matters the most to them. So go ahead and praise for all the things done right.
Say sorry. In between the conversation, if you realize that you have made a mistake or misunderstood a situation, say sorry and apologize. This will encourage your young person to do the same and help them learn that life is all about learning from mistakes and moving on.