People joke about the generation gap, but it does exist and can cause considerable differences in outlook and common ground. Think back to when you were young; how often did you seriously consider what your parents said to you? I’m guessing you probably found them to be tiresome contrarians who did not understand what it was really like for someone your age.
I’m guessing your teens also feel the same way about you. Whether it is true or not, that sort of disconnect can really compromise a parent/teen relationship. Want to try and reconnect on a meaningful level with your children? Try these three suggestions.
Talk, don’t lecture
One thing that made me automatically want to defy an adult was being subjected to a lecture. In other words, talk to your child, not at them. Be sincere and honest when expressing your concerns. Listen to what they have to say in response and try to understand where they’re coming from. Yes, the parent is ultimately the one in charge, but you can also have a parent-child relationship based on honesty and open communication.
Get right to the point
This is directly connected to the one above. Understand where your teen is coming from and express your concerns, but don’t ramble. A five minute opener on how “this sort of thing was never done in my day” is meaningless to a child and, in their eyes, just makes you seem clueless and out of touch.
Remain a parent
Some parents state that they get along well with their kids because they’re basically friends. That dynamic may work well in some families, but it can also provide children with too much freedom to do what they want. There is a healthy middle ground between being an overbearing authoritarian and a friend who never passes any kind of judgment; through talking to your children, you can find that proper balance.