It seems like teenagers and their parents haven’t been getting along since…forever. Despite centuries of evidence that says these two groups will simply be at the opposite sides of the spectrum on many issues, Bobbi DePorter, teen motivation and accelerated learning expert, says there are things parents can do to help mend the gap. Follow her steps for a healthier relationship with your teen:
Really listen. Don’t try to listen while doing something else. Put your chores aside so your teen knows you are paying attention.
Take the long view. Minor mishaps aren’t the worst thing in the world. Categorizing incidents according to their importance will help keep responses and consequences appropriate.
Make time for being together. Find activities you enjoy doing together and pursue them. If your invitation gets turned down, keep trying!
Tolerate differences. View your teenager as an individual distinct from you. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t state your opinion if you disagree.
Respect your teen’s privacy. Just because he/she wants to keep his/her door locked, doesn’t mean he/she is doing anything you wouldn’t approve of. But if a behavior is worrying you, speak up!
State facts instead of opinions when you praise or discuss problems. Keep your cool and teach your teen to consider all points of view.
Ask your teen about his/her learning style. Picking up on how they learn best will allow you to present ideas in the manner that works best for them.
Support a positive attitude about learning. Create a positive study environment that includes appropriate reference materials, music and reminders that he/she is intelligent, like old report cards, awards or notes from teachers.
Celebrate success! Positive feedback goes a long way to encourage repeat behavior. Each accomplishment by a family member deserves acknowledgement. iBi