Parenting is perhaps the toughest and most rewarding job in the world. You take on the immense responsibility of raising a child who will go out in the world to find their place. However, parenting has its fair share of challenges. Or maybe the share is more than just fair because unlike other jobs, this one doesn’t have any days off. Parenting is a responsibility that never really ends. Even when your child has started to grow up, you still need to be around for them and support them at every step of the way.
Parenting a teenager is possibly the toughest stage of the process. It is a stage of life where humans feel the crux of all emotions. It’s a very sensitive development process for your child, and the way you treat them during this time is likely to stay with them forever. But before you learn how to establish a healthy relationship, it’s important that you know why teenagers are the toughest to parent.
Keep reading to learn more below!
Why are teenagers known to be difficult?
Teenage years start when your child turns 13 and ends when they turn 20. It is the period in which they grow out of adolescence to become fully grown adults. As a result, they experience dramatic hormonal, physical, and emotional changes. During this time, they become more emotional or more reserved based on their personality, but regardless of how the change manifests, it takes a toll on them and puts them in a very vulnerable place emotionally.
It is not easy to deal with life when your body is constantly changing and you feel emotionally charged most of the time. That is the reason why even a small thing can sometimes be enough to irk a teenager. You need to be very careful about how you interact with them because if they begin to feel even a hint of hostility, or that you are trying to ‘control’ them, they will not appreciate it at all. You need to be really gentle and smart about how you go about treating your teenager.
Tips for building a healthy relationship with your teenager
Here are top two things that you can do to build a healthy relationship with your teenager:
- Build Trust with Empathy
The rule of thumb for a healthy relationship with your teenager is to focus on building trust instead of imposing authority on them. Teenagers are particularly more averted by imposed authority. Therefore, empathy is your strongest tool. No matter what they are going through, you need to make sure that you are able to provide a safe space for them to be able to talk about. If you want your child to come to you for help, you need to show them with your behaviour that empathy will never be off the table.
- Open communication
Communicate with your teenager. Let them know that you on their side, no matter what. Talk to them about all the changes they can expect in their body and behaviour, so they are mentally prepared and also feel comfortable enough to come to you when they need help. Set ground rules on important things such as education, safety, health, etc. but for all other things, encourage discussion, negotiation and co-operation.
Teenagers can be very tricky, but they are always willing to listen to sense instead of just seeing their parents exercise authority. So, make sure you work on building a healthy relationship with them.