The relationship between the parents and teenagers can often be very strained, because the child is becoming an adult and wants to have more freedom and independence, which can be hard for a parent to accept.
However, there are some helpful tips that a parent can use in order to keep the relationship as good as possible during this very important time of change in their child’s life.
It is very important to be completely honest and open with the child. It is all right to talk about everything with them, including dating and sexuality.
Research has shown that the more honesty there is with the children regarding these issues, the more the child will want to share with the parent about their experiences. It was also shown that the more parents and children openly discuss these issues, the more prone the children are to make better and healthier sex decisions during these years.
There is a difference between being authoritative and authoritarian. It is important to be warm, but firm as well, to have high expectations for the child and to enforce discipline. But at the same time, acceptance should be practiced as well, and it is important for the child to have a say in their lives as well and not be ruled by the parent on every level.
Teens will be teens and they will experiment during these years, whether with alcohol, drugs or sex, and it is not realistic to expect that they will not just because the parent tells them not to.
Instead of demanding that they do not have interactions such as this, it is best to sit down and discuss all of these issues, and give them the pros and cons that could come with these actions.
Let them know what is safe and what is best for them to do, but also have trust and faith in them that they will respect the wishes of the parent.
When monitoring what the teenager is doing, it should be done with sensitivity and moderation. Give them their space and do not invade their privacy, because that will hurt the relationship and the teen will look to hide things from the parent in these cases instead of talking about issues.
Too much supervision can lead to greater behavioral problems and a more determined wish to strike out and gain their freedom from the parents.
It is also important to encourage the teen to be involved in extracurricular activities. Not only are sports and clubs good to have when applying for a college, they are also great ways to keep the child away from trouble and busy all day. They will also be interacting with their peers, socializing, learning new activities and keeping healthy and fit in this way as well.