Communication is a tool that helps us to develop strong bond in any form of relationship. It is also a very vital tool in relationship between parents and their children. Good and steady communication between you and your child is important for developing a positive relationship. It improves your bond with your children and encourages them to listen to you. (See previous post on communication).
This kind of bond is not what we build over night…it grows from stage to stage over a period of time. Not many of us grew up with the privilege of erring our views on any issue back in our days. Majority of us grow up under dictatorship parenting; they give order we follow otherwise it is seen as rudeness or challenge of authority (my father is one). We had to learn to keep things to ourselves.
Believe me, that style of parenting will get you nowhere with the kids of this age, it will only bridge communication gap between you and your teenage kids and make them build a strong wall in their mind against you. We shouldn’t forget that we were once teenagers at one point in our lives thou the exposure wasn’t what it is today but not many choices/ decisions made on our behalf was satisfying especially when we are not given the room to say how we feel. Communication is really about staying connected with your kid and knowing what matters to them.
Our children are growing up and as they get to their teenage age, understanding them and relating with them can become a little more awkward because they begin to have a mind of their own, they seek independence, want to trendy, have their own fashion sense, want to make decisions, choose their friends, want privacy, try out new adventures, peer pressure, sex etc, not forgetting their developing sexuality which is likely to make them uncomfortable and more curious. The tendency to want to push their limits with us parents is bond to occur, throw tantrums and sometimes act as thou they’re the center of the universe.
If we must have an head way, we must ensure that we treat them maturely and allow open communication take place between us and them regularly by creating the time and right environment for important conversation to prevent them from pulling away from you ( see previous post on building healthy relationship with your child).
You don’t need a degree in communications to know that parents and teenagers need to spend more time talking rather we shout, insult and even curse sometimes instead of talking with each other. Communication is really about staying connected with your kid and knowing what matters to them. When it comes to our teens, it is very vital we communicate more with them rather than spanking, yelling, punishing or withdrawing certain privileges from them. The more we treat them in such manner, the more they get defensive and dig in their heels. They could become disrespectful or shut down and ignore you. Handling a teenager(s) isn’t easy…it is also a phase that will pass. Don’t forget they aren’t good at being in charge of their emotions yet, so teens are prone to taking risks, be rude and make impulsive decisions.
We also as Parents need to be more accepting and non-judgmental with our kids regardless of the circumstances. If you put all of those together, you can begin to see why it matters so much that a parent loves a child for who they are. That is the foundation that offers the security for a young person to answer all of those profoundly challenging questions.