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How to improve your relationship with your teenager: 7 ways to build a firm attachment with your teen

How to improve your relationship with your teenager: 7 ways to build a firm attachment with your teen
Georgia Carter Updated: 24 August 2021
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Teenagers are a difficult and often frustrating age. The hormones, mood swings, and rebellion from responsibility can be hard to deal with at times. It can also be tempting to just give up on building a closer relationship with your teenager because of these teenage relationship problems with parents, but that would be a mistake.

A close and healthy relationship is vital for any parent-child connection, and even though they might not always admit it, teenagers want closeness. This article on teenage relationships advice will give you five ways to improve your relationship with your teenage child to foster stronger family bonds together.

Key facts

  • There are numerous benefits for both you and your teenage child when you curate a strong and healthy relationship, including overall happiness and wellness within both of your lives, teaching each other important life skills, and watching your child grow into a successful adult.
  • Building a better relationship with your teenager starts with re-analysing your own expectations and putting yourself in your child’s shoes.
  • Being supportive and listening to your teenager are two of the most effective ways to build a better relationship with them.
  • Showing interest in your adolescents interests and partaking in activities they enjoy can help create a better bond with them.

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How do I have a better relationship with my teen?

There are many ways to sculpt a stronger relationship with your teenager and mitigate teenage issues with parents. This includes listening intently to what they have to say, asking gentle questions that don’t seem too imposing, not dictating their every move, giving them enough freedom to form their own opinions and experience life their way, and organising fun events that you know they are interested in.

What are the benefits of having a good relationship with your teen?

There is a lot that your teenager will be experiencing during their formative years. While it would seem like you are just playing an insignificant role, the truth of the matter is that investing time in them and both building and understanding relationships at this time can lead to positive outcomes later on when they need someone who understands what they’re going through. If you have built a healthy relationship with them before their teenage years, there’s no way they won’t return to those same values as they get older because everyone needs people around them who care about them.

Investing time into improving your relationship with your teenager has multiple benefits beyond simply nurturing them throughout these crucial developmental stages. When you think about all the hardships of raising a teenager, it’s easy to forget that there are some great benefits. Taking on this difficult task might seem like an impossible challenge but keep in mind how rewarding your child will be later down the road.

good relationship

7 Ways to Improve your relationship with your teenager

  • Start with your expectations: Sometimes, parents can have high expectations of their children. However, these high standards can convert into pressure that a teenager may not be able to take. Teenagers are still developing, learning, and experiencing life. It’s therefore important to remember that they don’t have all the answers and cannot live up to all your expectations and the expectations of their family. Instead, try to appreciate them for who they are and celebrate their achievements as they make their way through their adolescent years. 

  •  Learn to listen: It’s important to make sure that your teenager feels comfortable coming to you with their problems. One way of doing this is by regularly having conversations and listening attentively when they need it the most – there may be a time where all they want or need from you is an understanding ear rather than advice. Make use of your own experience as a teen: tap into what made sense during those years for them to have some reassurance in themselves about tough decisions.

  • Be sincere and supportive: Parents of teens these days should be careful not to make fun of their children for any reason. Teasing can feel like torture, and a sensitive teen may take it as an insult or put-down when they hear this from someone that is supposed to love them unconditionally. Get creative with your teasing instead, such as making up funny nicknames or taking pictures together in positions where you are both looking silly. Parents should show their teenagers some loving by learning about what they are interested in. This will create more opportunities to bond with them and help you understand how your child’s mind works better than just the two of you trying to talk for hours without getting anywhere.

  • Use your own experiences: When you’re a teenager, the world is your oyster. You want to explore everything to not miss out on an opportunity or experience something new and exciting. However, this often leads teenagers into mischief with their communities’ authorities, such as law enforcement. For example, they have developed rebellious tendencies to stand up for themselves against what may seem like unjust authority figures at times. Being quick to judge them will only push them away from you even more – instead, reflect upon how it felt when we were young ourselves and offer support that we needed back then.

  • Try to influence instead of control: The way your parents’ act can have lasting effects on the habits of their children. Whether smoking, alcohol use or other substances, teens are very impressionable and will often mimic what they see at home as acceptable behaviour. Watch how much you drink in front of them because while teenagers might not be able to get a hold of these substances themselves yet if they watch enough times that you do something like this, then the chances are high that one day when given a chance, they’ll make an unhealthy decision just for fun.

  • The road to respect works both ways: The idea of being a respectful child is an admirable one. The parents need to understand that respect has two sides, so they should be careful not to walk all over their teens and give them the freedom in some small ways, such as letting them decide what happens in their life without changing how you feel about your parenting skills. As parents, there are few things more offensive than disrespectful children. Put aside pride for yourself as a parent and remember that both parties have responsibilities for respecting each other’s choices; little actions like giving teens privacy or treating teenagers like adults can go a long way towards maintaining healthy families.
  • Have fun with it: When it comes to spending time with your teenager, don’t just think about what you can do for them. Think of the things that they enjoy doing and make sure there is a balance between quality time spent together in pursuit of their interests and enjoying some one-on-one bonding over dinner or simply on an outing exploring new places. If all else fails, challenge each other at video games. 

Why it’s important for teens to have a strong bond with their parents

Teenagers need parental guidance and authority to help them make the right decisions. You may be your teen’s expert on navigating life, but they’ve never been through it before. Research shows that teens are more likely than adults to engage in risky behaviours when left unchecked without any parental supervision or intervention. It is important for parents not just as a means of control but also because you want what’s best for their child both now and into adulthood. 

Teenagers are often susceptible to peer pressure, and teens will experiment with their own boundaries. Parents can’t be around every hour of the day monitoring their teenagers’ behaviour. However, they could still act as an authority figure or a confidant for them by talking about any concerns that have been raised out of love instead and giving them teenage advice on relationships and other life aspects.

Ideas for creating opportunities for meaningful conversations that will bring you closer together as parent and child

  • Watch your favourite movies and television shows together. Talk about the latest drama or exciting information in the media and learn what your teen is interested in.
  • Giving your teenager a lift can be a great opportunity to check-in and catch up. Offer to drive them to their friend’s house or the mall.
  • Take them on outings, such as to a sports game, a theatre performance, a concert, or maybe even just a nice cup of coffee at the local cafe.
  • Do some chores together, such as gardening, cooking, or sewing. Teach them as you complete each one, and you may grow their interest, skill set and gain new ways to bond.

Frequently asked questions and answers.

  • How do I connect with my teenager?

    There are numerous ways to start truly connecting with your teenage daughter or son. You can organise events together, do some of the house chores together, and even start learning about their interests and forming a bond through talking about what they like and showing enthusiasm about these things.
  • How do you teach a healthy relationship to a teenager?

    Teens are usually more open with their parents when they feel like the parent is not prying. Sometimes even an offhand comment about something that happened during the day will be a way for her to reach out and share information, which you might hear if your response was one of openness and interest instead of asking direct questions. Teenagers are not always treated as adults, especially by their parents. Give them opportunities to prove themselves and trust that they will do a good job at it! Let your little one know you have faith in him when he asks for the privilege of doing something himself, like taking care of his chores without being nagged or checking up on every detail. When children feel confident about who they can be, this confidence spills over into other areas, too – socialising with friends is easier if kids are feeling empowered enough to make decisions and take risks (even if these may seem risky).
  • When should I be worried about my teenager?

    Early childhood is a prime time to teach children about money. By the age of five, kids will have developed habits and attitudes around how they spend their cash as well. This makes it important for parents to start introducing them in non-pressurized ways at three or four years old so that by kindergarten, many will be aware of saving, spending and its value!
  • How do you teach children about debt?

    Debt is a tricky subject to teach kids about, but it’s essential that we do. We need our children and future generations to understand the difference between bad debt and good debt for them not to fall into an endless cycle of borrowing loan after loan, trying to keep up with their expenses. They should be spending money on goods or services that will help increase their net worth, and they are building equity instead of running out of time because loans have financed everything. Finance for kids is essential to help them have freedom with money, so start teaching them while they are still young.

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