Your teen has shut you out and you don't know what to do? Here are five simple ways to rekindle the bond you once shared.
By Chris Richardson
All of us remember the time when we were teenagers. In one way or another, we were all rebels. We tried to be cooler, often in ways our parents disapproved. Although we were all unique in our own way, there was something we had in common: incompatibilities and differences with our parents. In frustration, many of us may have claimed: “I’ll be a cooler parent some day!”
Well, that some day has come. You are now on the other side of the fence and not exactly the coolest parent in the eyes of your teenager. Like any other parent, you have expectations and, you don’t particularly like it when your child does something against your wishes.
So, is it possible to bridge this gap and reconnect with your teen, without losing your authority as a parent? It definitely is. Here are five simple ways for you to re-establish a bond with your teen:
1. Stay fit together: With increasing awareness about health and fitness, most teens are eager to join a fitness programme. As, a parent, you too naturally would like to see your child stay fit and healthy. Engaging in physical activity not only promotes a healthy lifestyle but also increases the likelihood of your child staying away from bad habits like smoking and drinking.
Find a way to encourage your child to engage in physical activity with you. By doing so, you can turn your workout time into an opportunity to bond together as well. Signing up together for a fitness programme is a good option. It can be anything that both you and your child find interesting and enjoyable, like martial arts training or Pilates or yoga. Being active together will give both of you something common to talk about. The bonus is that you also spend time together.
2. Have fun together: You must have had loads of fun with your child when she was young. But as she stepped into teenage, you would have noticed that the jokes and laughter gradually dried up. And now, your silly acts and attempts at childish humour no longer evoke giggles from her. Does that make you feel sad? Does that make you think you can't bring those good ol' times back? Well, the good news is, you can fix that!
Teenagers have a specific idea of fun. The type of music they play, the jokes they share, or the conversations they have with each other may sound weird to you. It can make you feel like a stranger in their world. However, you can change all that. Try discovering a TV show that both you and your child enjoy watching together or, why not play a video game that gives both of you an adrenaline rush.
The important thing to keep in mind is that, no matter how challenging your relationship gets, you must never lose your sense of humour and fun. No child wants to be around a parent who is overly serious and remains critical of everything around. Think about that!
3. Ask better questions: Do you know the most common reason for teenagers shying away or disconnecting from their parents? Questions! It may sound strange, but it’s true.
Remember your time as a teen and how you were bombarded with questions by your parents. It meant that your communication with them came down to only giving reports about college applications, homework, teachers, and grades.
As a parent now, you have to be more creative. Instead of putting your child under constant pressure with questions about responsibilities, ask about his feelings and experiences. Ask about something he hasn't told you. Most important of all, be there for your child no matter what answers you get!
4. Take a day trip: A holiday or trip, short or long, always bring the entire family together. And, nothing sounds better to a teen than making the trip in a car. A day trip can perk up your teen's mood enough to make her connect and open up to you. So, you can even aim for a double win — long conversations in the car paired with cool exploring activities. Pick a different adventurous destination every time you plan to go out. But, keep in mind that your teen may not want to do this every weekend, as she may have other important things to do, like meeting up with friends.
5. Go shopping: Although the idea isn't to buy your child’s attention with money, it is an undeniable fact that teenagers love shopping. Browsing through stores, checking out cool gadgets or trying to find the perfect item is a great opportunity to work and bond together. And, once your teen finds what he is looking for, you can't imagine how happy he will feel. You can follow up the experience with a hearty meal at his favourite restaurant. After all, shopping and dining together, paired with long conversations, can even help your teen open up. So, use the opportunity really well! And do also remember that even if you don’t have an impressive budget, you can still find something great for a modest amount of money.
While parenting isn't easy, parenting a teenager is full of unpredictable challenges. Penetrating the walls of secrecy and silence teens build around themselves takes a lot of effort from the parent. But, guess what, the results are worth the effort. You can still be a cool parent, you just need to try a little differently!
Chris Richardson is an editor at https://www.essaygeeks.co.uk. He is also a professional content writing expert in such topics as career growth, self-improvement, blogging, and technology innovations. Feel free to connect with him on Google+
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