You will agree with me that one of the greatest joys in life is to have a teenager. Yes they can be quite a handful but the truth is that they are bundles of happiness and love to the families they are born into. All adults were once teenagers before they became adults, and I am pretty sure they must have indulged in one thing or the other that made their parents disappointed or mad at them during those periods.
The influence of the outside world is posing a big challenge to parents today. Even technologies are not helping matters as they can cause strains in the relationship between parents and their teens.
Here are some tips you can build on how to create a lasting bond between you and your teenager either as a parent, caregiver, counselor, teacher and friend.
Now this is one thing that we sometimes ignore to do. A lot of factors that can account for unavailability of parents such as work schedule are totally legitimate and necessary. However legitimate these things might be, it is left for you the parent to try creating a balance between and having time for your teen.
Teens don’t joke with important events in their lives. Little wonder the absence of their loved ones in things like games, visitation days, etc make them feel less loved. To be available for them means you need to be there when they need you especially those times of peer pressure.
I went to visit two of my teen girls on their visiting day in school and while discussing with the older of them, the younger one that is in JSS3 had a forlorn look on her face.
I asked what the problem was; she told me that she was frustrated that her parents always come late on their visitation days. According to her, they always come like 5 minutes to the end of visitation hour.
At the end, they won’t get to spend enough time with them before they will be asked to leave.
I looked around the hall and saw other kids catching up with their parents and I felt her pain. I could sense the frustration in her tone too. I noticed because earlier when I was attending to her, she had a high tone while narrating the storyline of her novel to me. The switch of mood was evident as she suddenly became quiet.
She was constantly excusing herself to check if her parents had come. Each time she goes, she returns with disappointment written all over. Eventually, she slept off while I was still discussing with the senior student.
You need to be there when they need someone to confide in. you need to be there when they need someone to share those wonderful ideas that sends sparks of light in their eyes. You need to be available to listen to their rants about how the day went.
My teenage cousin gets excited whenever i come around on a visit. She always looks forward to the time where she shares her dreams and aspirations. The passion with which she shares those dreams always leaves me determined to always be there for her.
Another point worthy of note is that of paying attention. You may be physically present but not attentive to the present environment. At times, when you don’t pay attention, it makes them less important. Imagine a scenario where you are having a conversation with your teenage child and at the same time chatting with friends on social media. The only message you are sending to that teen is that they are not important to you. If they are that important, you will focus your attention on that moment with them.
So asides being available, you need to pay attention. Pay attention to the details of your discussion with your teen. If this means you putting away anything that might distract you from paying attention to then, do so. You might need to turn off the television, put away your technological devices and get off the study room so as to fully focus on your teen.
Boredom is one thing that put teens off. There is no hard thing in creating a fun time. You can listen to music with your teen, see a movie at the cinemas, beach hangout, and play a game like: scrabble, chess, etc. you could also invent new games that will get you both to participate.
This is one way of creating or strengthening the bond between you and your teen. You could engage your teen in conversations while driving to school or any other place. This moment could be a time to ask questions and ensure you listen attentively to the answers that will be provided.
I do this with my teenage cousin. You will be amazed at the way she pours out her heart during those kitchen conversations. It strengthens the bond and makes her voice come alive. You can do this with your teen. Let them share the rigours of the day with you while they are carrying out that task.
My cousin loves making dress sketches and some other piece of art work. She expresses delight whenever I inquire about how her sketches are coming along. I have to deliberately develop interest in what she loves doing. It gives a sort of validation to what they hold dear. If your teen loves singing, you can take him/her to a musical studio to do some recording. If its dance, you can enroll in a dance class and participate in the dance.
What are some of the ways you bond with your teen? Share in the comment section.
Hi there, My name is Faith Ijeoma Ezenwere. I am a Broadcast Journalist/OAP and a teen coach. I am passionate about building a community of impact driven Teens and young adults in all spheres of life. In simple terms, I help Teens/Young adults live their dreams. Welcome to my World!
Earlier this year, I attended a program at Redemption Camp of the Redeemed Christian Church of God....
You will agree with me that each passing day, parents are faced with challenges that come with...
Each passing day, it seems difficult to raise a female adolescent in this age. You...
It’s a disturbing thought for parents isn’t it? I mean the fact you may one day lose...