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Teenager-Parent Relationship How to Build a Healthy Relationship with Your Teenager

  1. Understand how their brain works

Not only are adolescent teenagers experiencing outward physical changes, but there’s also plenty going on inwardly as well – especially in their brains. There’s a reconstruction taking place.

As a result, their emotions are ramped up significantly and they also require more sleep on average than adults. The rational part of their brain might not fully mature until their mid-twenties. So be slow to criticise their over-reactions and long lie-ins – show some compassion and understanding instead.

  1. Give them time and space

Teenagers are in a tricky transitional phase. They’re not quite a child, but still not quite an adult. Their moods are changing, and so are their mates.

While some are still comfortable spending time with you, many young people prefer their own space and time with their peers.

Accept that they still need you, but you’re no longer the centre of their world. Get used to it.

  1. Don’t complain about being a taxi service

Treasure the time you have travelling together, no matter how brief. These “taxi times” could provide opportunities for casual conversations that might not normally take place.

Affirm, but don’t expect anything in return

All children need to feel loved, valued and appreciated. However, choose your moments and make sure you don’t embarrass them. Maybe write something on a card, or message them. They might not acknowledge the message but they will value it.

  1. Listen to understand, not interrupt

Conflict with teenagers is inevitable – but remember, you’re the adult. It doesn’t have to escalate to an all-out war.

One of the ways to avoid this is to give young people “a good listening to”.

Try to understand their perspective, even if you don’t agree with it. A teenager will begin to resent you if they never feel listened to.

  1. Remember you’re a role model

A young person’s biggest role models are not celebrities, they’re parents. If you’re always on your phone, don’t expect your teenager to be any different. If you always eat dinner in front of the telly, so will they.

Teenagers might not always listen to what you say, but they will take note of how you behave. Your attitudes and emotions are contagious – make sure yours are worth catching.

  1. Encourage progress, not perfection

We’re all a work in progress. None of us is perfect. But in the Instagram age, teenagers can feel under incredible pressure to be so.


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