We all know that communication is the most essential part of any relationship, with anyone: spouse, parent, sibling friend, child, especially if the child is a teenager.
A teenager, as we all know, is growing into his independence, and resents any interference into his activities.
How do you cope with this situation? How do you make sure he is safe, and make sure that the channel of communication remains open between you even though you know he does not confide in you as much as he used to?
Your teenager is normal! First and foremost, remember that a teenager will confide less in a parent than he used to when he was younger: this is completely normal.
Listen to him! Next, listen to your child when he talks to you, and make sure that he is not simply talking to a newspaper or to your back.
Stay positive! Are you making positive remarks along with the negative when you talk to him, or is everything you say negative? Try not to dwell on his mistakes, faults and deficiencies, and instead, concentrate on looking at his positive factors like what a bright and cheerful child he is, and how much he is achieving.
Involvement is the key: Get more involved in his activities, and discuss things that interest him, even if they may seem boring to you. Have a conversation, instead of merely trying to make a point constantly.
Never lecture! Do not lecture when you can talk: lectures are too long and boring, and teenagers tend to tune out when they sense the beginning of one.
Understanding brings gains! Try to be a more understanding parent, whether you agree or disagree with him. A child needs a strong shoulder to cry on and it is your duty to provide one when it is needed.
Avoid power struggles, and do not say ‘NO’ automatically, without even considering why the child wants whatever he does, and even when your child says things like: “You live in another time and age, you do not understand!”
It is up to you! Make and create opportunities for communication, like when you drive him to an appointment, or when you are sitting together reading.
Above all, respect your child and his opinions, while at the same time setting limits on his behavior. Although he may appear to resent you for this, he will actually respect you for the guidelines you have given him.
Show your teenager at every opportunity that you love him and respect him for what he is, and not for what he has achieved or hopes to achieve.
Communicate with your teenager! Keep open the channels of communication with your teenager. It will be worth it eventually, and your teenager will thank you for it some day.