Creating A Loving Bond With Your Teenage Kids
The teenage years are characterised as a whirlwind of change, challenges and growth. As parents, connecting and bonding with your teenage kids may feel like you’re navigating uncharted waters and sometimes, it may also feel like you don’t know your child at all.
Fostering a strong and loving bond with your teenagers is essential because these years are equally confusing for them as they are for you. They are going through so many changes at once and these are the years that will mould the habits and behaviours that one adopts for the future which can impact their character and personality.
Whilst living with teenagers can be an incredibly difficult episode of parenthood and you may feel like the bond with your child is slowly weakening, it needn’t be this way. To avoid this, follow these tips and valuable insights to create a loving and nurturing bond with your teenagers.
Understand Your Teen And Encourage Open Communication
Reflect on the times when you were a teenager and try to remember the confusion and changes you went through. This will help you understand what your teenage kids are going through. If you observe them closely, you will find you can relate to their frustration and can help them accordingly.
In addition to understanding them, encourage open and effective forms of communication, as this is the foundation of any meaningful relationship. Create an environment where your teenagers feel comfortable sharing their opinions, thoughts and concerns. You must also practise active listening and never jump to conclusions. Allow your teenagers to express themselves without fearing judgement.
Surprise Them With Gifts Now And Then
One of the best ways to show your teenagers you care is by surprising them with gifts that they will like. Align the gifts with their interests, showing that you understand and support them.
Of course, finding a gift for a 17-year old girl or boy is easier said than done. But if you watch them closely, you’ll understand what they want. For instance, if your teenagers love listening to music, you can gift them a Bluetooth speaker. If you think they are too stressed with schoolwork, give them colouring books with anti-stress designs.
Host Family Game Night
A family game night is an excellent way to reconnect with your children, no matter their age. You can get together with your teenager, designate a game night and select a game to play together. You can choose from traditional board games to video games and games that can be played on the Wii or PlayStation.
Besides family game night, you can also come up with other ways to spend quality family time. For instance, you can set aside dedicated bonding time where you can cook together, watch a movie together or enjoy other shared experiences.
Celebrate Their Achievements
No matter how big or small, you must make it a point to acknowledge your teenager’s achievements. Whether it is completing a project, acing a test or overcoming a personal challenge, celebrate their small and big successes. Your support will reinforce their confidence and self-esteem. It will show them that you are their biggest champions and cheerleaders.
Turn Failures Into Teachable Moments
Success and failure are part of the same coin. Hence, just as you would celebrate your teenagers’ success, you must not forget to support and help them in times of crisis and failure.
If they stumble or have experienced failure, turn it into a teachable moment instead of admonishing them. Teach them that failure is only a stepping stone to success and that you will support them no matter what. This will instil confidence in them to get up and try again.
Also, this is going to cement your relationship. In life, whenever they experience failure, they will reach out to you for guidance.
Give Respect To Get Respect
Disrespect is one of the most offensive acts a teenager can do. But simply demanding respect from your children is not enough. This might make them feel disrespected by you.
Respect is a two-way street. You must respect your child’s wishes and opinions., give them privacy and treat them as adults. When you respect their choices and boundaries, they will automatically respect yours.
Respect Their Independence
Teenagers strive to assert their identity and independence. Children turn rebellious when their need for autonomy is not respected. Hence, you must respect their independence whilst being a supportive parent. Balancing freedom and guidance will make them feel heard, valued and capable of making responsible decisions.
To sum up, creating a loving and long-lasting bond with teenagers requires understanding, patience and genuine compassion. Remember that every effort you make today will contribute to a loving and strong relationship with your teenager in the future.