If you’ve got a teenager in your household, you can surely relate. In the day-to-day reality, parents sometimes don’t know what to do next. One day, your teen is happy and vivacious. The next day, you may wonder if this is the same child. Another problem for parents is that they can easily get stuck in the rut of being the parent. It’s your job to guide, discipline and serve as a sounding board, as best you can. Here, we attempt to take a ‘step back’ approach that allows you to gain a fresh perspective on being a parent, along with a few tips on some effective approaches to conversing with your teen.
Most parents have some trouble remembering what it was like to be a teen, with teen problems. Being the parent, your usual focus is keeping up with the good advice and proper discipline. Don’t you remember your own parents giving you what seemed to be endless lectures? They probably seemed like old fogeys, out of the loop and totally uncool. You probably tolerated their good intent and then went ahead and did what you wanted. It is difficult to go back in time in this way, due to your own daily responsibilities and the role of parent. Spend some time revisiting your own days as a teen. It’s likely you’ll have both humorous and trying memories.
For example, teens are prone to acne and pimples, largely because of the unbalanced hormones and sometimes, too many fries. Don’t you remember that a single pimple could ruin your week? Although those days are long past for you, your teen is experiencing these self esteem busters now. When you take this walk down memory lane, you may find yourself feeling a lot more compassionate at their plight. These sorts of teen problem situations are always worse and more exaggerated for a teen.
Speaking of those raging hormones, it’s a fact of life for every teen. Moodiness, anger and flightiness are just a few of the outcomes of the raging hormones. Teens just can’t help their behavior sometimes. Instead of putting on the giant parent hat, berating them for these inexplicable moods, try a little TLC instead. Most teen problems arise from emotional disarray, so cut them some slack. Offer a glass of milk or a piece of fruit and just sit down and have a chat. You don’t need to directly address the teen problem du jour. While you talk about an upcoming concert, your teen may be moved to bring up what’s really bothering them.
In short, as the parent, you’ve got to be the mellow one. Don’t pry and don’t try to talk their jargon. Let them know you’re there for them and they might just let you in.