Teens - rebels without/with reasonsBernice Clark ▼ |
An old folk proverb says: "Small kids small worries, big kids big worries." As children become older the communication between you and them mostly depends on your communication skills, patience, values you implant in your child in early ages and what example you can offer them on a daily basis. That means: Do you smoke, drink too much, take medicine to calm you down every time when you are upset and how you generally act in situations when things around you doesn't go the way you expect. You are still their role model, they copy how you act and think that they can do the same.
Your child's teen years are certainly the hardest years for both sides and family who survive that period without wounds looks almost as heroes to another family. To make a conversation with a teenager in his sensitive ages is very challenging task. A mother described it like this: "My son is like two-headed monster. Every time we talk, I must immediately guess with which head I deal with. One head demands to treat him as an adult, and the other to treat him as a child."
One thing is for sure, no matter to which head you are talking to - do not ever give up of conversation with your child. Probably they look through you when you talk and think that you are boring and old. Maybe they smash the door, keep quiet and distance, often lie and you don't know how to deal with all that, but deep inside they desperately need you to be their collocutor.
Although teenagers often give impression that your opinion doesn't mean nothing to them and ignore all your efforts to be included into their life, continue with trying to talk. For teenagers it is typical to resist to all parents interdictions, restrictions and commands. But, teenagers have very sophisticated hearing. They talk only when they know that you actually listen. Use that for keeping them close to you.
Every day ask them few neutral questions about their school, sport and friends, find one little topic that will keep their attention for a few minutes. Show them that you are in a good mood and tell them what you were doing today. Don't talk about problems, talk about positive things. If you now think how that approach can save your kid to become drug addict, I will say you: It can't. But it can do something else.
When you are focused every day for a few minutes on listening yours kid's answers, you will learn how she/he reacts on your questions and how much is willing to talk with you. With time, if things go wrong you will notice that their answers are shorter and generally you will notice that something in their behaviour is different. It will change. When you notice those changes, you will monitor how they act with more intention.
On the other hand, you must know that providing resistance is not always a negative characteristic and for teenagers it is almost their second nature. For building confidence sometimes is inevitable to be overweening and rebellious. Let them be and keep them nearby. ■