It’s hard to be parent of a teenager at times. It's during this time that kids are testing boundaries and asserting their independence and it can often feel like you're left powerless and alone. They seem to have a life and world, all of their own. The most important thing is to stay connected with them as much as possible.
Talk to them, listen to them, and be there for them without judging or criticising. Let them know that you love them, no matter what and hold the space for them to be able to confide in you and also ask for suggestions when they feel the need to, without the fear of being judged or reprimanded. It is very important for you to take an active role in guiding them because at this age, children are still learning the necessary skills of coping with various kinds of challenges.
You can harness a lot of influence over your teen through authentic communication and compassion. Talk to them about the choices they're making, and help them understand the consequences of their actions. Encourage them to get involved in activities that interest them. As hard as it may be, try not to take their behaviour personally.
Remember, that they are going through a lot of changes themselves and need your support now more than ever; value the healthy boundaries to allow your bond to thrive.
Allow your teenagers to take ownership for their decisions and facilitate whatever is needed in the process. Use this as an opportunity to enable them to master emotions, relations, communication and most importantly instil self-confidence! Some tips to keep in mind:
1. Do not expect too much from them too soon; remember, they are still kids and developing important skills while learning life lessons.
2. Encourage meaningful conversations.
3. Keep the lines of communication open.
4. Don't hesitate to seek professional help if you or your child need more support. An expert can provide you with the tools and guidance you need to manage the challenges in parenting a teenager.
5. Be kind to yourself; you’ve got this!
(The writer is M.D. (Alternative Medicines), Psychotherapist, Life Coach, Business Coach, NLP Expert, Healer, Founder & Director — Gateway of Healing)