Counsellor and author Phoebe Hutchison shows you how to navigate the tricky waters of your child’s teenage years.
A child’s teenage years can be a challenging time for parents. Parents may feel lost, frustrated and disconnected by an apparent lack of control over their child. But have faith; you can remain a positive influence in your teenager’s life. By trying to understand their challenges, knowing what to do and what to avoid, you can continue to support, love and educate them through these turbulent years.
1 Listen to your teenager
The best thing you can give your teenager is your time. Aim for a minimum of 30 minutes of quality time per day. If you cannot give her your attention when she wants it, set aside a time for her later in the day and keep your appointment. When you listen well, you will be more likely to identify illogical thoughts, generalisations and potentially dangerous decisions your teen may be contemplating. Stop your internal chatter and keep your mind completely on her words. By listening to your teenager, you will create opportunities for giving advice and improving your relationship.
2 Praise your teenager daily
You have the ability to ‘make or break’ your teenager, simply by how you treat him. When a teenager is praised often, he is more likely to experience high self-esteem, which is a foundation of self-confidence, increased motivation, better decision-making, improved relationships and self-respect. Poor self-esteem often leads to self-criticism, doubt and confusion about one’s abilities and life. By seeking opportunities to praise your teenager, you are actively improving his self-perception. The importance of praising your teenager cannot be overstated.
3 Accept your teenager
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