Cultivate a Great Relationship With your Teen
Another winning strategy is cultivating a great relationship with your teenager. Understanding makes this easy.
Through the lenses of a teenage 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.
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. Two amazing tips for a great relationship with your teen.
1. 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%.
A 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.
2. Try simple conversation starters to break the ice so as to gain access to their perspective on prevalent teenage issues. Intentionally engage this at least once in two weeks or weekly. It gives depth to your relationship.
For example teenage issues on sexting:
"What are the types of things you and your friends like to share online or with each other? "
"Have you heard about sexting? what do you think about it?"
"I was watching TV, listening the news the other day and saw a story about some kids who got in trouble for sending (sexy, naked, seductive (you can use your own word here) pictures to friends. Did you hear about that?"
Then, rather than leading the conversation, make sure you listen closely to your teenager. Your teen may not agree with you about what is and isn't appropriate, and may have some compelling reasons as to why. Still listen then, encourage your child to think about the possible risks and consequences of what they are doing and how it might impact them in years to come.