Every stage of parenting is challenging, and just as you get used to one step, everything changes, and you feel like you are starting all over again. As soon as your newborn begins to sleep more and you feel like you are getting the hang of things, they start moving and eating, and a range of new challenges appear. Not long after you’ve learned how to parent a changing child with a broader social life and different interests, you are faced with a teenager spending all of their time in their room, not talking to you about their lives, and growing moodier and more distant.
Parenting a teen can be tricky. But it’s much easier if you can find a way to bond. Here are some tips to try.
Listen to Them
When your teen does speak to you, make sure you listen to them. If you dismiss them, only give them half an ear while you are doing something else, or ignore them, they’ll think you don’t want to hear what they’ve got to say. If you encourage them to speak to you openly, make sure that you give them your full attention when they do speak.
Your teen might be going through or have been through things you don’t understand, especially if they are a foster child. For foster children, you can get more advice and help from thefca.co.uk, but in any case, it’s essential that you find ways to empathize with their lives and struggles instead of judging or downplaying them.
Find a Shared Interest
A shared interest or hobby, whatever it is, will give you something to talk about and enjoy together, no matter what. This could be a sport, music, a place you like to visit, or even books you love.
Get Involved in Their Hobbies
Playing video games, taking an interest in social media trends, and otherwise spending time doing things your kids like, even if you don’t really, is a great way to spend time together and get them to open up. They might not talk to you much when you look at each other over a dinner table, but it’s easier to open up when you are both looking at a screen, and your hands are busy.
Get Outdoors Together
Be Their Taxi
As parents, we often complain that we’re our kid’s taxi drivers, dropping them off and picking them up from social events and their friends’ homes. Embrace it. Offer to drive them places. You’ll keep them safe, and they might tell you about the day while you are in the car.
It can be scary when your teen becomes distant. It can be hard to accept if your child previously talked to you about everything. But remember that it’s perfectly normal for teenagers to spend more time alone and talking to their friends than their parents. Try not to worry.