Teenagers need love and support from parents at a time when lots of other things in their lives are changing. You can keep your relationship with your teenage child strong through ordinary, everyday activities.
It’s true that family relationships change during adolescence. When your child was young, your role was to nurture and guide him. Now you might be finding that your relationship with your child is becoming more equal.
Most young people and their families have some ups and downs during these years, but things usually improve by late adolescence as children become more mature. And family relationships tend to stay strong right through.
For teenagers, parents and families are a source of care and emotional support. Families give teenagers practical, financial and material help. And most teenagers still want to spend time with their families, sharing ideas and having fun.
Why family relationships are important
Good family relationships are enjoyable for their own sake – it just feels good to be part of a warm and loving family.
But good family relationships are important for lots of other reasons too.
1.Make children feel secure and loved, which helps their brains develop
2.Can help to overcome difficulties with children’s eating, sleeping, learning and behavior
3.Make it easier for your family to solve problems and resolve conflict
4.Help you and your children respect differences of opinion as your children develop more independence
5.Give children the skills they need to build healthy relationships of their own.
Positive communication and family relationships
Positive communication is about making the time to listen to each other, listening without judgment, and being open to expressing your own thoughts and feelings. When you have positive communication in your family, it helps everybody feel understood, respected and valued, and this strengthens your relationships.
Positive communication ideas-
1.When your child or partner wants to talk stop what you’re doing and listen with full attention. Give people time to express their points of view or feelings. But sometimes you might have to respect their need not to talk – especially if they’re teenagers.
2.Be open to talking about difficult things – like admitting to mistakes – and all kinds of feelings, including anger, joy, frustration, fear and anxiety. Just remember that talking about feeling angry is different from getting angry, though.
3.Be ready for spontaneous conversations. For example, younger children often like to talk through their feelings when they’re in the bath or as they’re getting into bed.
4.Plan for difficult conversations, especially with teenagers. For example, sex, drugs, alcohol, academic difficulties and money are topics that families can find difficult to talk about. It helps to think through your feelings and values before these topics come up.
5.Encourage your children and partner with praise. For example, ‘It’s a big help when you bring the bins in without being asked, Leo. Thanks!’.
6.Show appreciation, love and encouragement through words and affection. This can be as simple as saying ‘I love you’ to your children each night when they go to bed.
Regular family meals are a great chance for everyone to chat about their day, or about interesting stuff that’s going on or coming up. If you encourage everyone to have a say, no-one will feel they’re being put on the spot to talk. Also, many families find that meals are more enjoyable when the TV isn’t invited and when mobile phones and tablets are switched off!
Try setting aside time for fun family outings – you could all take turns choosing activities. A relaxing holiday or weekend away together as a family can also build togetherness. Our article on teenagers and free time has more ideas for things you can do as a family.
Celebrate your child’s accomplishments
Celebrating your child’s accomplishments, sharing his disappointments, and supporting his hobbies helps your child know you’re interested in him. You don’t have to make a big deal of this – sometimes it’s just a matter of showing up to watch your child play sport or music, or giving him a lift to extracurricular activities.
If you feel that your family really isn’t connecting, you might find a family counsellor or other family support service helpful.
Source - INTERNET