Every parent dreads their child’s teenage years. All of the sulking and moaning, sleeping in all afternoon and trying to distance themselves from you at all costs is hard to deal with. It’s perfectly normal for parents and teenagers to clash sometimes, it would be worrying if it didn’t happen at all. A normal level of conflict is fine but if things get really bad, you need to do something about it. In those cases, it could be something that they’re doing but more often than not, it’s a problem on your end. It’s nothing to be ashamed of because all parents struggle to deal with a hormonal teenager, but you can use these tips to make your relationship more harmonious.
Always Be A Parent
One way that parents try to connect with their teenagers is attempting to be their best friend. They think that they can talk to them on their level and pretend to be into all the same stuff that they like and that will make your relationship better. That’s not going to work because no matter how hard you try, they’ll never think you’re cool. It also completely undermines any attempt that you make to discipline them if you’re too relaxed. Always remember that you’re a parent and they’re your child, you aren’t best friends and you need to maintain strong boundaries.
There’s no need to deal with it all on your own and there are plenty of places that you can go for help. Places like The Hills Youth and Family Services offer relationship building sessions that can help you and your child work through any problems that you might have. Often, these difficult relationships are linked to a traumatic event in the past that your child is having trouble dealing with. Acting out is their way of expressing those feelings but if you give them a healthier way to work through things, your relationship will be far better.
At this age, your kids are on a journey into adulthood and privacy is a big part of that. You wouldn’t want somebody coming in to your room unannounced and it’s not unreasonable for your teenager to expect the same boundaries. Their room is their space and when they’re in there, you should always knock before entering. If they want to be left alone, don’t push things.
Be Honest About Yourself
Teenage years are difficult because you’re working out who you are as a person and dealing with a whirlwind of emotions. That comes with a lot of expectations and teenagers often worry that their flaws and imperfections are abnormal. All of those worries will build up and often manifest themselves as bad behavior. You need to be honest with them about your own shortcomings as a person and show them that it’s ok and perfectly normal to be flawed. This will put their mind at ease about the things that they’re struggling with and it also opens up a channel of communication that builds trust between the two of you.
Dealing with a hormonal teenager is difficult, but if you give them space and make sure that you’re open with them, it’ll be ok.
Disclosure: This is a contributed post.