Teenagers are a tough lot to handle. The advent of technology and internet has exacerbated the situation. In such a scenario, it becomes important for parents to take the onus of connecting with their teenagers on themselves.
1. Speak to them every day
Parents must keep a track of a teen’s whereabouts by speaking to him/her every day. Conversing on a daily basis will not only acquaint them with the emotional and psychological developments taking place in her but also make her feel emotionally secure. Touch upon the topics of dating, drugs, smoking and anything you feel is important enough to discuss with her. Keeping aside one to two hours on a daily basis for her will go a long way in transforming her into a sensible adult.
2. Get to know her friends
How many friends does your daughter have? What activities are their parents inclined towards? What do their parents do? If you fail to answer these questions, it is time to connect with her friends as well. As a matter of fact, friends play a pivotal role in influencing the choices she makes. The kind of movies she has started liking, her sartorial choices and favourite pastimes have a lot to do with the friends she has. Call them for dinner or take the group out for a long drive. Get to know them personally. She will appreciate this thoughtful gesture of yours. Watch her opening up with you more often.
3. Share your childhood memories with her
Teenagers love to listen to their parents’ childhood stories. They are curious to know about all the traits they once possessed as a child. So why not spill the beans? Sharing your old memories with her will completely alter the way your child perceives you. Tell her about the mischievous conduct that landed you in trouble during your salad days. Disclose the name of the subject you dreaded studying as a child. Expose her to your imperfections. Act a little vulnerable and you will be surprised at the number of secrets she will come out with.
4. Indulge in a chore together
While busy schedules might leave both you and your kids exhausted at the end of the day, why not think of an activity that helps all of you unwind? Gardening is a great way to spend quality time with each other. Teach her those valuable lessons of life when she is very close to nature. You can also work on her culinary skills by asking her to help you out in the kitchen every morning. Praise her if she cooks well. Years later, she will reminisce about these beautiful days and thank you for making her formative years the best phase of her life.
5. Highlight their positives
Are you in a habit of demeaning your teenager every time she fails to meet your expectations? She already caught in a cobweb of mixed emotions and feelings which she is finding difficult to make sense of. Too much humiliation can completely destroy the positive self-image she has been trying to construct for a long time. Find reasons to appreciate her and make her feel desirable. Figure out her areas of interest are and try to compliment her on every achievement of hers. This will motivate her to strive for the best.
SheThePeople.Tv spoke to Mahalakshmi Rajagopal, a mental health professional based in Dwarka, about some other tips to connect with teenagers.
“Parents should never forget that they are interacting with an individual who wears the cloak of a kid and a young adult at the same time. They must get used to communicating to both the cloaks simultaneously. Moreover, they should be objective and be sure to express their concerns verbally without any emotional binds, which may seem like “blackmail” to the teenager.”
She further adds that parents should imbibe the quality of patience in them because assertive communication with unconditional acceptance is the key to building a strong relationship.
Charvi Is An Intern With SheThePeople.TV