The teenage years are a time of significant growth and change. These years are a time for adults to help teens grow into the unique individuals they will become.
Your teen will want privacy and personal space. They may start to spend less time with family and more time with their friends. It is important to remember this is a time that teens need their families’ love and support just as much as they did when they were younger – it just takes a different form.
Teens may not always ask for it but they do need your advice and support. It is important to stay connected and keep the lines of communication open. Some ways you can do this:
- Family meals
- Fun family activities – recreational activities, games nights, holidays
- One to one time
- Kind gestures
- Be there when they need you
- Find shared interests
Communicating with your teen
Trust is an important part of any relationship. As your child gets older, they need your trust to guide them through their teenage years. Trust needs to be built and must be mutual; as an adult you can’t demand trust.
Here are some ways to communicate effectively with your teen:
- Stay calm
- Active listening: stop what you’re doing, show an interest, and listen without interrupting
- Communicate positively
- Avoid mixed messages (saying one thing and doing another)
- Provide advice, encouragement and support
- Respect their privacy
- Thank them for coming to you and sharing what is happening for them
- Let them know that you care!
Want to know more?
The Raising Children Network – Teens communicating and relationships
Beyond Blue – Healthy families