Help for Parents: 5 Ways to Improve Your Relationship with Your Teen
The teenage years can be tough, but your teen isn’t the only one experiencing growing pains. This phase of life can put strain on parents as well. Navigating your relationship with your teenager can take a toll on your mental and behavioral health, so here are some tips to help you grow closer.
How to Improve Your Relationship with Your Kids
Make the Time
While it may seem simple, spending uninterrupted time with your teenager is one of the best ways to nurture your relationship. Life gets busy, and distractions like your smartphone, can too often create a barrier between you and your children. Plan coffee dates, eat dinner without distractions, and even run errands together. This type of quality time is an opportunity to connect more deeply.
Respect Their Space
Teenagers need personal space to grow and thrive. Parents who disrespect their teens’ privacy or pry with too many questions may unintentionally push their children away. Healthy boundaries are a key part of behavioral health, so allow your teen to spend time alone and enjoy uninterrupted time with their friends. And when your teen does open up to you about their personal life, be sure to keep their secrets. Trust and boundaries go hand in hand.
Show Your Appreciation
Teenagers are often under an immense amount of pressure. Even if you have high expectations for them, be sure to show your appreciation. You might do this by taking them out for a surprise dinner, verbally praising them for their achievements, and consistently encouraging them. This appreciation can take the pressure off and help build your teen’s confidence. You can then build a more supportive relationship over time.
It’s common for parents to compare their teenager to the teen’s siblings or friends. But doing so may be harming your relationship with your teenager more than you realize. Your teen is in the process of discovering themselves, and comparison can harm their self-esteem and lead to resentment later on. Try to avoid comparisons and focus on the qualities that make your child unique. They will appreciate the support.
Take Care of Yourself
As a parent, it’s easy to give everything to your child and forget to care for your own needs. Neglecting yourself can only harm your ability to parent to your best ability. Individual counseling is a great way to put your well-being first. One of the benefits of individual therapy is the opportunity to talk one-on-one with a counselor without judgement or interruption. Your counselor can also give you strategies to improve your relationship with your teenager at home.
If you’re struggling to sustain a close relationship with your teenager, the team at The Collective can help. Our Denver counseling and coaching services cover a variety of focus areas. Whether you’re in need of individual therapy or holistic support from a health coach, we will help match you with the best behavioral health services for your needs. Contact us today to set up a brief consultation.