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- What are child or adolescent issues?
- What causes your child to wet the bed?
- How to deal with Teenagers?
- Teenagers who are struggling
- Ten tips for improving your relationship
- Ten tips for Improving communication with your teen
- Parenting struggling teens
- Establishing family rituals
- The good enough parent is good enough
- Games we play
- Teaching gratitude
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Parenting Teens and TEN TIPS for improving your Relationship
It can be very difficult being the parent of a teen that is faced with balancing so many pressures. Most teens are trying to balance so many things at once, school, friendships, peer-pressure, sports, and family. These responsibilities can be overwhelming at times and can be difficult to balance. You may have seen changes in your teens behavior and mood that have caused you concern. You may have tried to share your concern with them, but have felt shut out. All you have wanted is for your child to be successful, happy, and come out of these years well-adjusted. Are you in distress about your struggling teen? Teen counseling can help your child become more confident in themselves and their choices. Family counseling can help the whole family become closer and help you to enjoy each other as you envision it. Are you overwhelmed as your teen seems to be out of control? Do you wonder will my teen end up happy, independent, and well-adjusted? Many parents struggle with these questions without ever finding the solution to helping their teen be sure of themselves and have true happiness. Whatever the case, you seem to get nowhere with your teen causing you pain and frustration and you don’t know how you can help them in the process. You hope for your teen to stop struggling and you don’t know how to achieve this. Is your teen showing any of these behaviors: Withdrawing and not talking to you and others Antagonistic towards you and others by talking back, being rude, not following through with their responsibilities, lashing out in anger They have very few friends and are having trouble fitting in Dealing with family issues (divorce, power struggles, sibling rivalry, bereavement, etc.) Body image concerns (have they changed their eating patterns? Are they eating very little or over-eating?) Using drugs and/or alcohol Being irrational and not following rules Parenting teens is a Difficult Job and Can Be Hard on The Whole Family If you are a parent of a teen, do you ever feel: Frustrated and unsure where to turn Alone and hurt by your teen’s behavior Responsible and like you have failed Embarrassed to ask for help but know that you want to help your child in any way you can That you have lost your relationship with your teen and don’t know how to get it back Terrified of making the wrong move or saying the wrong thing and creating more distance with your teen It can be so difficult finding the answers to help your teen as you feel you’re relationship with them gets more distant. You may be wiped out from trying to connect with them and have them follow your rules, and they seem to fight back and reject your efforts. The relationship that you have wanted with your teen has become fraught with anger, disappointment, and pain and you are at your whits end of knowing what to do. You may long for a closer relationship with your teen and wonder when it started to unravel. You may experience sadness for having lost a caring and close relationship with your child and feel that there is no way to get it back. The hope that you once had for your child is starting to fade and you feel defeated. Just as you would love to put forth the energy to help your teen, another part of you has given up. Even though you may feel what is the use in trying, things can change for the better It’s never too late to change things for your teen. You can have a more respectful and loving relationship with them. You can start to enjoy each other’s company without fighting. You can see them start to take responsibility for themselves and their behavior. You can have a close relationship with your teen based on trust and respect. You can build communication in your relationship where they start to turn to you for guidance and support. You may not believe it, but you can get to a place where you may enjoy each other’s company again. IT IS POSSIBLE to feel positive about your relationship with your teen again You will be able to: Feel better about improved communication Feel more comfortable setting appropriate boundaries and rules Feel a renewed confidence that you can have a better relationship with your teen Build a relationship based on respect for one another Have a sense of hope for the future with your family Adolescence is one of the most difficult times of our lives and being able to support your child through this time can be overwhelming. Nobody taught you how to parent your teen once they start having trouble, so it is ok to give yourself a break. Parenting a teen is challenging and requires a lot of patience, energy, and work. I know there may be times when you feel alone and uncertain about the future for your teen, but you are not alone. You may have talked to other parents who have the same struggles with their teens. Even though you may feel like giving up, things can change for the better It’s never too late to change things for your teen. You can have a more respectful and loving relationship with them. You can start to enjoy each other’s company without fighting. You can see them start to take responsibility for themselves and their behavior. You can have a close relationship with your teen based on trust and respect. You can build communication in your relationship where they start to turn to you for guidance and support. You may not believe it, but you can get to a place where you may enjoy each other’s company again. IT IS POSSIBLE to feel positive about your relationship with your teen again You can: Feel more confident about improved communication Feel more comfortable setting appropriate boundaries and rules Feel a renewed confidence that you can have a better relationship with your teen Build a relationship based on respect for one another Have a sense of hope for the future with your family TEN TIPS For improving Communication with your teen Talk with your teen about himself/herself, their interests, wishes, dreams, problems, and fears. Listen without interrupting. This will show your child, they can talk to you if they are in trouble which will open a door, many parents will find closed. This step is important to create an open space where they can start to feel comfortable to talk. Keep calm even when you are feeling emotional in response to your teen. Being calm will increase the trust of your teen. Begin and end your conversations with a positive comment or advice, this helps them see that you are on their side and gives them something to look forward to. So when you have a concern, they won’t feel on the defense. The key here is to helping them see you are not their enemy. Giving them something positive also helps them see they are capable and that you have faith in them. It may be difficult, but respect and hear your teen’s point of view. After hearing their side, you can tell them why he or she is wrong and why you feel that way. This will build respect between you. Remember that rules are there to protect your kids. They may test limits and try to break the rules, but they will learn that rules are important. The goal of rules is to teach respect and self-control so the rules need to be positive in nature. Explain your rules and make them clear and understandable. Positive discipline is about incentives so make rules that end up with rewards and privileges Instead of making your teen respect your rules because they are afraid of punishment, make them want to follow rules by hoping for the reward and keeping their privileges alive. Keep your word, so if there is need for taking away privileges or giving rewards, don’t delay it and forgive them quickly. They will respect your word if you do this. The rules of positive discipline reflect on respect and the only way for them to work is if you and your kids follow the same rules. The best way for kids to learn respect is by following an example that you set for your kids. Have fun with your kids. Even as your kids are getting older, they need to laugh and play. They will look forward to spending time with you and these moments will be in their memories forever.
© Copyright 2013 by Sara Markham, therapist in Westlake Village, California . All rights reserved.