If you want to support your teen in making good choices, you should aim to foster a good relationship with your teenage children. This will allow you to be there for them if they are concerned about the decisions they are making, and give you the opportunity to help them expand their horizon for greater success.
With technology ever-evolving, it’s no wonder that teenagers today are always busy exploring something or the other. They have access to so much more than previous generations, which can make parenting a little tricky. This is the time when they want to explore the world on their own and don’t want anyone’s interference. But with the right approach and attitude, you can be their best friend and guide. Here are some tips that will help you become your kid’s friend and stay well-informed about all that is going on in their daily life:
1. Make your home the centre of activity
Be open to inviting your teen’s friends over, make sure all of them feel comfortable and at home. Be involved in your child’s life, by fitting in and not making them feel like they don’t fit in.
2. Be approachable
Being approachable is the key. You teen will experience a lot of mixed emotions in their period of growing independence. Make sure that to build a great relationship you allow your child the chance to talk to you about how they feel. Be receptive to their growing needs and encourage them to talk.
3. Spend time with your teen and get to know them
Make it a point to notice their strengths and positive qualities. Be approachable and open with them so they feel comfortable coming to you with anything. Guard against becoming a critical parent who only focuses on their mistakes or weaknesses.
4. Be REAL with your teens
Real, Encouraging, Affirming, and Loving. Expect the best from them but keep your standards realistic. Expect them to make good choices. The burden of unrealistic expectations is a lot for a young teen to handle, make sure you do not burden them.
5. Respect and love your friend
In friendships we do say ‘sorry’ and accept our mistakes, but sometimes as parents we are so focussed on being perfect that we are not open to be seen as wrong. You have to treat you growing teen as equal – you have to love and respect them as you do in any good and healthy relationship.
Fostering a good relationship with your teen, and more importantly a good friendship will help them in the long run. They will not only become good and successful citizens of the country – but will also have healthier relationships with their friends, future partners, and children – because their role model will be you!