How to Bond With Your Teenage Child

Parent-child relationships can be very complicated, especially through the child’s hectic teenage years. However, if you don’t panic and you stick to a good parenting plan, you might still manage to avoid the label of embarrassing parent and bond with your child, even through this confusing period. Here are a few tips which can help you deal with a teenage child without going crazy:

1. Start treating your child as an adult

There’s nothing that teenagers love more than being treated as adults. The thing is that they actually are adults, at least prom a physical point of view. In today’s modern society, parents are a lot more protective than parents from previous generations used to be. As such, we modern parents, are under the impression that our children need our constant support and guidance. Nevertheless, what teenagers really need is to start their adulthood as soon as possible. Treating your child as an adult doesn’t mean that you trust them with anything, as trust needs to be earned, but it does mean that you should allow them a greater freedom.

2. Show that you are human

When children are little, they view their parents as gods that know how to do anything and that have the power of doing anything. However, as they grow up, they realize that their parents are humans and subject to making mistakes. The parents on the other hand, are unaware of these epiphanies that children have and continue to act like all-knowing gods. If you want your child to trust you with his secrets and to ask you for guidance, you will have to admit that you are human and maybe teach them from your own mistakes (full disclosure is relative and depends on how much each parent want to share). Furthermore, from time to time, talk about your own problems with your child, and ask crazy as it may seem, ask them for advice. This doesn’t mean that you have to burden them with all of your problems, but show them that you trust them and value their opinion regarding your problems.

3. Teach your child the meaning of responsibility and the value of money

If your child is accustomed to receiving money and privileges without doing anything to deserve them, you will have a more difficult time teaching them about responsibility or money for that matter. These are concepts that need to be taught from an early age (for example, the first time that you start giving your child their allowance, you shouldn’t just give it to them, but rather use it as a reward for performing chores around the house). Nevertheless, even if your teenage child doesn’t know anything about responsibility, you can still teach them now. You can do it by having a serious talk with your child and tell them that now that they are adults they need to be more responsible.

If you start taking away your child’s allowance and simply tell them that from now on they will have to work for it, you should be prepared to deal with a meltdown. What you can do in order to avoid these situations is wait until your child needs you to buy something for them (something which is not school related of course). When that happens, simply tell your child that you can’t afford to pay for what they need and teach them ways in which they can earn the money themselves. For example, you can tell them that if they start helping around the house, you will have time to work extra and thus earn more money. You can also help them find part-time jobs or online jobs.