Family will always remain family – no matter what, when and where. Parents will always be parents to their kids. Kids will always be the children of their parents. Even when the youngsters grow up as teenagers and think they can already stand on their own, they still are the children of their moms and dads. They need a lot of guidance, reminders and attention too. That is why parents must provide and know how to provide these needs for their teenagers who might be clueless or reckless.
The last two adjectives from the previous sentence are precisely what teenagers could be. This is the life stage where people are either clueless, not knowing how the teenage phase exactly works, or reckless, knowing what they want and doing it the way they want to. At some point, some teens are a combination of being puzzled and careless. Regardless, these could result in not-so-good outcomes in the lives of the children. The negative by-products could be short-term or long-term. Either way, teenagers are affected.
Parents should do something to help and lead their children as they enter their teenage years. Of course, you want your kids to grow up responsibly and to always be safe. You want them to become good people with good manners, personalities and values. That can happen with the biggest influence coming from you, parents. They may learn them from outside, from other people, but the best way is to learn from home, from the family.
Don’t overthink on how to have that great impact on your kids’ life. Indeed, some are grand and monumental, but some just require you to spend time and bond with them! Yup, you should make time to be with each other! Parents, this article is only for you! Here are 6 essential ways to bond and connect with your teenagers. This is important because your teens need you!
1 – Know what’s up with today’s generation.
Whether you like it or not, varying generations have gaps, differences that are distanced from each other, that make one unrelatable to the other. It’s mutual though. Naturally, often, your kids cannot totally be on the same wavelength as you and vice versa. However, you can do something smart to meet in the middle. First is to know what’s up with today’s generation.
Well, while the old generation and the new generation cannot fully understand each other most of the time, it’s easier for the new generation to have insight into the other because history is written and can be learned. On the other hand, it is harder for the older batches to tune in with the newer batches’ things because they are mostly totally fresh and unfamiliar.
Despite that, it’s not impossible for parents to discover and explore their teenagers’ generation as long as they are willing to make an effort. You may directly ask your children; tell them to enlighten you about terms and things of their generation that are alien to you. You may also do the search yourself, observe what’s trending and listen to what people say on social media. This is one of the top ways to comprehend your teenagers’ thoughts and choices today.
2 – Compromise but with limits.
After learning about the new generation’s ideas, pursuits and other facets, what do you do about that information? It’s time to adjust yourself for your kids. This is when you should compromise to be on the same page as them and click with them better, but remember — always remember — to put limits.
Understand humor, sarcasm and other sorts of it, but don’t let disrespect and insensitivity arise and be tolerated. You are still their parents whom they must honor. Allow them to enjoy greatly with friends, but don’t let them be victims of bad influence. You are still accountable for them.
You will get along better when you have healthy negotiations. Hear them too. Let them speak too. Consider their feelings and opinions. Nonetheless, with the things you know best, stick to your rules and standpoints as your teenagers’ parents.
3 – Normalize random casual conversations at home.
Communication is a crucial necessity in enriching the relationship between parents and children. Speaking with and listening to each other creates a firmer link that makes your understanding of each other better and clearer. This is very significant because lack of communication often results in teenagers becoming distant to their parents. That also is the very reason why many problems faced by teens are unknown to their parents, and many of those youngsters get harmed.
When we talk about communicating with your kids, it does not immediately mean you have to always conduct a family meeting where everyone has to attend and share what they have been up to. You can simply normalize random casual conversations at home.
Talk about your daily happenings. Be informed what each other is up to just by asking out of the blue. Casual conversations bring you closer together. This helps you earn your teenagers’ trust, so that they will know they can rely on you and reach out to you anytime.
4 – Show them you’re interested to know their interests.
Sure, your teenagers’ interests vary a lot from yours because of the generational gap. It’s not easy to understand their likes and hobbies, especially if those did not exist in your time as teenagers. Nonetheless, be open to find out what they are and to comprehend them. This makes them feel you care and pay attention. Show them that you are interested to know their interests, and definitely, they will feel glad that they are heard.
You do not have to necessarily like or be a fan of their interests. What’s important is that your ears are ready to listen whenever they try to share or talk about their favorites, leisure pursuits and dreams! Especially when your teenager is an only child or when nobody else is there to talk to at home but you, it would be wonderful if they can talk to you anytime about what makes them inspired or giggle, such as their favorite games, shows, artists and more.
5 – Do screen-less activities together.
The screens of cell phones, tablets, laptops and computers are the biggest blockages in the middle of family members at home. This keeps the family alone together, and it’s unhealthy for the relationship. To combat this reality or to at least manage responsible gadget use at home, do screen-less activities together.
Play board games, mind games or physical sports with your teenagers. Have some coffee, milkshakes and desserts outside. Walk your pet to the park. Do errands. Go to the groceries together. Prettify your garden. Repaint your family room. Learn new recipes, cook and bake with them. Make handicrafts. Exercise. Cycle. Dance together.
Anything that will not require you to unnecessarily use your cell phones – do them with your teenagers! Bonding with them is one of the most precious things in the world. You would never trade it for anything.
6 – Bring them to God. Go to church together.
The Bible says, “Train up a child in the way that he should go, and when he is old, he shall not depart from it.” That’s true. When you bring your kids to God, they will grow up living a life that cannot exist without God.
Go to church together. Pray together. Help them nurture their individual faiths in God. When they grow up, you will have tears in your eyes because of gratitude to God that your kids are on the right track in His presence.
PARENTS AND KIDS FOREVER
Some parents settle with the fact that their kids are now teenagers who can make decisions on their own and can handle themselves without them, and that’s kind of sad. Why? Because truth be told, teenagers are actually just kids, still kids, who think they have everything sorted out, but later on, still look for their moms and dads to help them. Parents should know this, especially because they’re their so-called ‘parents’.
Family bonding is never equal to wasting time. In fact, it is one of the ways to make your time worth-spending and worth-remembering. It’s a priceless, precious and pleasing moment because it counts in developing a closer relationship and stronger connection with each other, specifically with your kiddos. Nobody can turn back time, so it’s truly a meaningful occasion whenever the family can gather together and bond in a good heart.
Parents, your teenagers may have changed in many ways, such as in their physical features, thinking, behavior and preferences, yet you cannot let them become unfamiliar to you and yourself to them. Keep your parent-child connection and love tough. You are their parents forever as they are your kids forever. Let your children be closer to you than ever even when they have already become teenagers.
Note: Featured image is owned by Career Vision.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Nicole Ann Pore is a writer, an events host and a voice over artist. Quality and well-researched writing is her worthwhile avenue to enlighten and delight others about things that matter. She is a daytime writer for Adams Lawyers, a team of professionals that offer well-rounded service for all legal needs. Nicole graduated Cum Laude from De La Salle University Manila, Philippines with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts.
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