• Mimi Oke

Parenting Teenagers 2

Cultivate a Great Relationship With your Teen

From the perspective of a teacher. In a class of teenagers regardless of the numbers, it is really easy to spot the teenagers who have a great relationship with their parents. Their interaction skills are different.

You start winning by cultivating a great relationship with your teenager. Understanding them as explained in the first tip makes this easy.

As a parent, know when to be their friend, know when to be firm, know when to raise your voice, know when to have a quiet conversation instead. Know when to listen to them rant, then hug /hold them in a warm embrace no questions asked, no further probing; know when to listen to them rant, and then ask questions.

Know that your life and the way you conduct yourself is like a movie they watch every day without ever forgetting, rather absorbing what they see even at that age.

One major thing you need to know is ninety-nine percent of teenagers study the reactions of their parents to various issues to know the extent to which they can reveal what goes on with them.

They study each parent. They definitely tilt to the “less dramatic” one. There is an art I teach whenever I train ministry teenage teachers and youth ministers which can also be very helpful for you. It’s called the “poker face”. You are shocked but you do not show it, you are disappointed but your face stays the same, you did not see it coming but you keep a neutral face. This art encourages teenagers to open up truly, without the feeling of being “judged”

Managing your emotions, training yourself to respond rather than react is highly needed if you truly want to have a great relationship with your teenager

Over the years I have come to realize that teenagers either tell you what you want to hear, or what you need to hear. What you want to hear is far from the truth of what is going on with them. It’s the fake wall they put up to hide the real meat of the matter. However, the latter “what you need to hear”, is them telling you the truth 100%.

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