Teens of today are not from a different planet or new generation. They are just living in a different time. Parents find it difficult to reach their teens for many reasons but here are some of my tips to help reconnect and or connect with your teen:
Tip one: LISTEN: Many parents/guardians are talking at teens and not listening to what they have to say. I hear to often from teens “my parents do not listen to me” or ” they (parents) think this is back in their day”. As much as we as parents want to think we know it all-we do not. Give your teen the floor and be quiet…
Tip two: YOUR CHILD(REN) ARE NOT YOU!: Stop treating your child(ren) based on your past experiences and or mistakes. Children are individuals. Parents should be offering guidance and using their past as a learning tool not as a dictation or ruling. Create an opportunity for your child(ren) to have a voice. Try having round table discussions. A chance for your teen to speak freely without judgment and or punishment from you. You may be amazed at what you learn!
Tip three: LEAD BY EXAMPLE: As cliche as this may sound, it is the truth. You can not continue to preach one thing and behave in the opposite manner. Your child(ren) are watching. Not only watching but taking notes, learning, and acting out. It is time to stop saying “do as I say and not as I do”…Begin to be the person that you aspire your child(ren) to be.
Tip four: GET INVOLVED: There should be a balance of parenting and friendship. Although this is a tricky task because many parents lean to much towards being their child(ren)’s BFF (best friend forever) there should be times when you are not “Mommy or Daddy”. This will offer a comfort level with your child(ren), a chance to see you in another light. Listen to the stories about their day. Listen to the “what’s going on at school” situations. Listen, Learn, Laugh, and Advise. Children need positive adult friendships and who better than the parent?
Tip five: LEARN: Many times as parents better yet people we do not want people in our “business”. I am the first to say “everything is not for everybody”. HOWEVER, we all need the help of others at some point. Seek the help you need so that you can be the better person you can be for your child(ren). If you have a trusted friend, family member, etc…that has raised a child(ren) and or is raising a child(ren)…ask questions, share ideas, brainstorm. You know the saying “it takes a village to raise a child”. Get back to the times when children were raised by the community…If I recall correctly it was a little less violent then…
By Shawna K Clark – Founder/Executive Director of Shawna’s House Inc. www.shawnashouse.com
Shawna K Clark is a wife since 1999, mother of four (a blended family), a sister, daughter, youth mentor, coach, blogger, and friend. Shawna founded Shawna’s House Inc. a non-profit organization because some where some how family unity and teens voices got lost in the worlds chaos!
Shawna’s House Inc. is the parent company of four divisions:
Shawna’s House Teen Chat Room– a teen mentoring network for boys and girls 13 to 18; that offers group sessions and one on one mentoring.
Shawna’s House Conversing Couples– a social networking group for couples in long term relationships; an opportunity to network with like minded people
Shawna’s House Personal & Relationship Coaching– a one on one coaching network for adults 18 and older
Shawna’s House Blog– a blog website about various topics and a Dear Shawna page to ask questions; also, an opportunity for individuals to have their work featured www.shawnashouse.com/blog