If you have a teenager, gone are the days when they wanted to hang out with you and willingly gave you hugs and kisses. Now it’s all you can do to get them to have a conversation with you that lasts more than two minutes. There are some things you can do to improve your relationship with your teenager.
First, you really have to pick and choose what things you are going to get angry about with your teenager. If you are constantly harping on her for every little thing, it will only serve to alienate her rather than bringing you closer together. Focus on the big, important issues, especially those involving unsafe behavior or dangerous situations. For example, it is fair to make sure she doesn’t walk alone at night, that she not drink alcohol or do drugs, and that she stay away from violent people. However, you might want to hold your tongue when it comes to her wardrobe choices, or how she decorates her room. And for some things, try to find a compromise. For example, if she really wants to go to a concert but you are concerned about her safety, buy an extra ticket for you and a friend, and tell her she can go to the concert, but that you will drive her there, attend with your friend in seats that are not too close to hers, and you will then meet her at a pre-designated spot to take her home.
Respect her privacy and establish boundaries. If she feels you trust and respect her, she will not fight you so much on every rule you have. And always try to keep communication with your teenager open. Make sure your teenager knows that he can talk to you about anything without judgment. If he is afraid he’ll get into trouble with you if he tells you something, he never will. Always be consistent with what you tell your teenager and always follow through on what you say. You and your teenager must have trust between you in order for your relationship to be on good terms.
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