Parenting is one of the more rewarding things you'll ever do with your life. It can also be stressful and emotional to parent a child, especially as they head into their teen years.

Do you need some advice to help reconnect with your teenager?

Do you need some advice to help reconnect with your teenager?

The close bond you once shared with your child when they were younger feels different now. You argue more and talk less. And when it comes to making plans together or hanging out in public, forget it! This is a painful part of puberty for some parent-child relationships to go through.

It's natural for children to become more independent as they grow into teenagers. It can still feel like its coming out of the blue, especially if you've had a healthy relationship with your child up until they hit their teen years. Here are some of the best parenting tips on what to do to repair a strained parent-child relationship.

Know what's normal

There are many reasons why parent-child relationships begin to drift and fall apart. But before you can figure out how to repair your relationship with your teen, you must first decide whether what you're going through is a true crack in your relationship or if it's simply a normal part of the teenage blues.

As hormones go wild in your teen, they may start feeling more reserved or uncomfortable sharing certain things with you. Instead of spending their weekends with you, they're now driving for themselves, heading out with friends, and asking to go to the occasional party.

This is completely normal. Think back on your teenage years. How did you treat your parents? You may not have been rude to them, but you likely preferred spending time with your high-school friends over watching a movie with mom and dad.

This may hurt your feelings, but it is a natural part of growing up.

What is not natural is your child expressing resentment, hostility, or showing secretive or aggressive behavior toward you.

Knowing the difference between these two circumstances will help you understand how best to move forward with your relationship repair.

Understand what went wrong

If your instincts are telling you that something is wrong with your child, don't ignore them. Think back to when you and your child last had a smoothly-flowing relationship and try and pinpoint what went wrong between then and now.

It could be that your child is going through something at school; a breakup, pre-college stress, or bullying, and they are taking their emotions out on you.

It may also be that something you said in the past hurt their feelings and they can't let it go. Perhaps a comment about their weight, intelligence, or an argument you had about their future.

Remind your child that you're human

Parenting your teen isn’t always going to be easy. As children mature into teens, they tend to become more self-involved and think of their parents as just that: parents.

If you want to repair your relationship with your child, you need to let them see you as a human being. Not just the person who drives them around and sets the rules.

Talk to them and take an interest in their lives. Share stories from when you were their age and look for ways to connect as people instead of just as parent and child.

Keep the lines of communication open

In order to repair your relationship, you have to communicate. This is one of the best parenting tips for repairing your strained relationship. Let your child know they can come to you with any problem they are having, free of judgment.

You won't know what's going on in your child's life if they don't feel comfortable talking to you. When communicating with your child, do so with mildness. If you take a lecturing tone with them they aren't as likely to open up with you.

Communication is key to any successful relationship, and when it comes to parenting your teen this rule is no exception.

Acknowledge your child's perspective

In a study done by Harvard psychologist Richard Weissbourd, 80% of teens surveyed believed their parents cared more about their academic achievements than their emotional developments.

This statistic shows the importance of getting in-tune with your child’s thoughts, opinions, and emotions. Doing so will help you empathise with what they’re going through and prevent misunderstandings.

Even if you don't see a reason for your child to be angry or upset with you, it's important for you to recognise that your teen’s emotions are valid. After asking your teen what is bothering them, acknowledge their feelings and tell them that you understand where they are coming from.

Try to make amends

If your child has told you, or you personally feel that you have done something to upset your teen, one of the best parenting tips you can follow is to apologise.

As a parent, giving your child a sincere apology is the loving, kind, and compassionate thing to do. It also sets a good example for your teen by showing them that no one should ever be so proud that they can't apologise to someone they love.

If you say: "I'm sorry, it won't happen again," make sure you intend to follow through. An apology will only work if you mean it, and that means being honest about your intentions.

Be patient

If you feel your teen is pulling away from you, just be patient. Communication is important in developing a relationship with your child, but so is knowing when to give them space.

Reassure your teen you're there for them if they need to talk. The door is always open to spend time together, whether you're doing so as 'friends' or as parent and child.

It's natural to feel concerned when your child is drifting away from you. Part of parenting your teen successfully means showing understanding and compassion to your child. Apologise when you have done something wrong and seek to understand their point of view. Doing so will undoubtedly draw you together again.

Author Bio: Rachael Pace is a relationship expert with years of experience in training and helping couples. She has helped countless individuals and organizations around the world, offering effective and efficient solutions for healthy and successful relationships. She is a featured writer for Marriage.com, a reliable resource to support healthy happy marriages.


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