Communicating with your Teenager

One of the chief complaints about raising a teenager is the lack of communication between parent and child. Here are some ideas on how to open the lines of communication between you and your child, as well as some tips on relating with your teen.

Teenagers today are a far cry from the past generation. Many parents are now finding it hard to cope with their growing teens. Some parents just find it hard to believe that after raising their children with proper discipline and values, they still continue to stray to the wrong direction.

Parents should not be blaming themselves for their teenagers' problematic behavior especially if they know that they instilled the proper discipline to their kids. Society may have a lot to do with the challenges teenagers are facing these days. With the existence and advancement of multi-media, the personalities of teenagers are also greatly influenced by what they see, read and hear around them. And so, parents just get surprised that their teenagers whom they've protected since they were small have become very liberated, rude and sometimes disrespectful to them.

When faced with this situation, parents need to be more understanding and flexible to their teens. Remember, they're in a pursuit to finding their own identity and trying to belong to a group. It is during this time that they need the moral support of their parents to guide them to the right path. It won't hurt you and your family if you change some house rules to let your teens enjoy some freedom. However, be firm when it comes to teaching them the proper values such as respect and courtesy.

Parents have also to be calm in dealing with difficult situations. Sometimes, it's easy to just flare up and raise your voice such as when finding out that your teen arrived home way past midnight or early in the morning or worse, slept over at a friend's house without your permission. Before giving a lecture or reprimanding in a stern manner, take a deep breath and keep your cool. Organize your thoughts first so you can say what you want to say in a calm voice in front of your teenager.

It's also important that you let your child know that you're upset by what he or she did and you only want the best for them. Let them feel your love and support to what they're going through but be clear that you also don't want them to stray by befriending the wrong people and getting into illicit activities. When you are able to talk in a calm manner even when your child is rude to you, you will be more appreciated. Who knows, your teenager will eventually open up to you and not become rebellious. Raising your voice will only make them turn away from you.

Try to build a better communication line in the house. Keep up with what's happening to your children during dinner time when all of you are present. This is a good bonding moment but be sure not to make it into a lecture time.

Parents only want the best for their children and they could lose their self esteem when behavior problems crop up. If you feel like a failure, you can always resort to family counseling. Family therapists can help you analyze your situation and guide you in the best way to handle your teenager's problems. They are the best authority to turn to especially if you have a hard-to-handle teen child who needs the proper guidance of a third party.

By Kalyan Kumar

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