Knowing what your teen is up to as a parent can be challenging. They seem to have their own lives and friends that you don’t interact with at all. It can lead to a lot of worry about how they’re doing and if they’re safe. But, if you want peace of mind without being too overbearing, there are some ways you can try. Here are tips for keeping up with your teen:
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Give Them Space
One of the best things you can do for your teen is to give them space. This means not constantly being in their face and checking upon them. Teens need time to figure out who they are and what they want. If you hover over them, they will likely rebel against you.
So instead, give them some space and trust that they will come to you when they need you. Giving them some independence can help develop their self-esteem and confidence and teach them to make good decisions.
Encourage Them To Be Creative
Encourage your teen to be creative and try new things. This can help them stay out of trouble while also fostering skills they will need for the future. You might be surprised to know that the most effective way for you to keep in touch with your teen is by encouraging them to do what they love.
For example, if they are artists, help them practice their craft and encourage them when they feel discouraged. Perhaps organize a particular art room for teens where supplies will always be available or join forces on home improvement projects.
If your teen is musically inclined, take them to music stores and allow them to try out different instruments. Or, if they love being outdoors, sign them up for a nature photography class or go hiking together. The possibilities are endless.
Be Observant With Their Behaviour
When your teen is acting out, ask them what’s wrong. Sometimes they need to vent or just be heard, and if you aren’t open about the situation, it will make things worse. If you are having a hard time understanding their behavior, take some time alone with yourself to think of how else you could deal with the problem at hand.
If your teen seems angry all the time, stay calm but don’t back down. Say that something isn’t acceptable, then walk away for an hour after explaining why not wait until later when everyone has calmed down to talk again. Just because someone is angry doesn’t mean no one can hear them speak normally, so keep this in mind while communicating. You can also help them get rid of stress with these 14 Activities to Help Kids Blow Off Steam.
When your teen refuses to do anything, ask why and try to develop a solution together. If they don’t want to do something, you can offer an incentive or a trade but make sure it benefits them as well.
Be Ready To Take Radical Action if There Is a Problem
If you’re concerned about your teen’s behavior, you may need to take some radical steps to get them back on track. This could mean changing how you interact with them or temporarily taking them to some sort of program like https://www.sunshinebehavioralhealth.com/illinois/ if they have a drug problem.
It’s important to remember that your child is still going through many changes and may not be ready to handle everything independently.
By providing support and structure, you can help them stay on track while also giving them the freedom they need to grow up. Make sure you are keeping an open line of communication with your teen. Let them know your concerns and ask how they’re feeling about things.
Try not to lecture them or come across as judgmental; instead, listen to what they have to say. If they feel like they can talk to you about anything, they’re more likely to come to you for help when things get tough. You also need to set some boundaries for your teen.
This doesn’t mean being strict all the time; it just means establishing rules and limits that both of you can agree on. By doing this, you’re teaching them how to be responsible adults. These boundaries must be realistic and achievable; otherwise, your teen is going to become frustrated and resentful.
Spend Time With Them
One of the best ways to stay connected with your teen is to spend time with them. For example, take your teen on an outing to the new bookstore. Let them pick out a book and then read it together before bedtime.
Make some time for board games or card games so you can be more than just “the parents” in their life. Do something completely unplanned sometimes too. For example, suggest that your teen go ice skating or go for an outing one Saturday afternoon instead of watching TV all day long. The important thing is to show your teen that you are interested in their life. Showing them this interest through spending time together is a great way to cultivate trust and communication.
So, there you have it, some tips to help keep you connected with your teen. While it can be challenging, these strategies can make the process easier. By staying involved in your teen’s life, you can help them stay on track and heading in the right direction.