Parenting doesn’t get easier with time. In fact, there are few things more difficult than successfully parenting a child through their teenage years. Plain and simple, it’s difficult for most parents to hold conversations with their teenage children. Yet, it’s vital that moms and dads communicate effectively with their kids –– especially on difficult subjects. Given all that, today we’re going to share six hard-earned tips for parents looking to reconnect with their teenagers before they eventually head off for college. Check them out here:
Get the Ball Rolling
If you want to build a good rapport with someone –– whether a business contact or your own child –– you need to take the initiative to start the conversation. The more you speak with your kids on everyday subjects, interests, concerns (etc.), the easier it will be to segue to more serious talks. The key is to kick things off yourself because many teenagers are reticent to share what’s on their mind if they aren’t prompted first.
Give Plenty of Space
Though it may be difficult for some parents to accept, kids need to learn certain lessons on their own. While you should obviously take pains to outline the dangers of certain actions like drunk driving, for example, it’s counterproductive to “over-parent” your teen. Give them the space and autonomy they need to think for themselves.
Share Facts –– Not Judgements
Uncomfortable though it may be, parents need to take the trouble to educate their teens about sex, drugs, and the nature of adult life. Rather than sharing opinions or casting judgement, though, it’s more important to share impartial facts and information. Provide your kids with professional resources and let them know that you support them no matter what.
There’s no point in putting up a front when talking with your kids. Just as you can tell when they’re not being genuine with you, they can tell when you’re stretching the truth with them. As such, it makes sense to simply be honest and forthright when talking with your kids. Lying will only get you into trouble.
Talk on their Time
Kids run on different schedules than adults. With that in mind, it’s important for parents to be available to speak with their kids when they’re ready –– and not the other way around. What’s more, communicating through text messages may afford parents with an opportunity to break the ice from time to time.
Get to the Point
You don’t need to provide a massive preamble to every discussion you have with your kids. If you want your kids to be safe and get tested, for example, then don’t hesitate to tell them so. Again, they might not agree with you at first, but it’s better to lay your cards on the table than to waffle and waiver. Getting to the point and laying down the law when you need to might lead to some bruised feelings now, but your kids will appreciate the tough love down the line.