Adolescence is a somewhat turbulent time in the life of both adolescent and parents, and this stage in life is often associated with a series of conflicts and disagreements in the family context, typical of coexistence. daily. .
Unsurprisingly, there are several psychological elements in the minds and lifestyles of adolescents that often generate “tensions”: the passage from childhood to adulthood, the search for one’s own identity, the transition from childhood to adulthood. attention to parents attention to references from youth, the need to feel accepted by the group of adolescents and to go beyond the rules of the home …
However, being educated and caring for a teenage son or daughter shouldn’t mean exposing yourself to a constant source of discussion.
Psychological professionals have spent decades studying the emotional, cognitive, and behavioral phenomena that occur in adolescence on both a personal and social level, which has enabled us to develop useful strategies to improve the well-being of families. and adolescents in particular. And beyond the context of family therapy and child and adolescent therapy (the most useful resources for addressing coexistence issues), this has allowed you to extract a series of general principles and recommendations that can be applied at home by anyone with adolescent children.
What are the main keys to a healthy parent-child relationship?
In order to learn how to treat the adolescent and to build a positive relationship at all levels, as parents we need to implement a set of behavioral guidelines, specific educational advice and methods aimed at not systematically repressing or punishing anything that comes out of the “should”. You will find them summarized here.
1. Establishment of a constant flow of communication
Almost all social relationships work positively when there is good communication between the two parties, and in the case of a teenage child, we need to pay special attention to adjusting to their concerns and worries without assuming that we know them. by the simple fact of being his parents. .
Of course, in case we make you fear punishment or reprimand if he says what’s happening to you, it will be impossible to understand the reason for their behavior and we will be blindfolded. Therefore, speaking openly and honestly is the basic ingredient on which any parenting model must be based to be effective; everything else comes later.
Effective communication relies on the application of a number of essential communication skills, including active listening, empathy, eye contact, negotiation skills, assertiveness and the use of communication skills. communication.
Likewise, even if the teenager does not communicate as well with us we need to approach him and ask him about his condition whenever we think something might happen to him or just to check that everything is working properly. But these conversations shouldn’t be conducted as interrogations: we should also contribute something, not just ask (teens value privacy more than young children)
2. Respect freedom
Adolescence is a stage during which the person needs to build their personality and starts asking for a series of his own freedoms to perform activities his age that he did not do in the previous step.
These new activities can be hanging out with friends, going to concerts, or arriving home later, and in each of them the teenager needs to know that his parents trust him and give them the new freedom that they need it if they don’t show any signs. is not ready to attend these events or is unable to behave in an appropriate manner. Limits should always be properly explained by giving examples of specific behaviors on their part, but not using them as reproach or personal attacks.
3. Respect your opinion
Everyone values respect for their opinion positively, and this is more important in adulthood, when self-esteem is more fragile and the adolescent needs a positive external assessment to develop the personality.
While we may disagree with most approaches our teens take, we need to be respectful at all times and show that your opinion is taken into account. Likewise, it is crucial not to invalidate your emotions so that you can express your discomfort when needed and see that it serves as a means of receiving help or support.
Privacy is another of the essential requirements that are on the agenda during adolescence and is one of the prerequisites for the proper functioning of any social relationship.
Make sure your teen has their own space, like their bedroom, and isn’t overdoing it., is one of the best ways to respect your privacy during this stage of development.
5. Share time together
Psychologists and adolescent specialists also recommend that it is very important to establish positive relationships with adolescents. share time together regularly.
This can be done by planning a plan together that is satisfactory to both parties, setting aside time during the week to spend it together, or taking an interest in their hobbies and participating whenever possible.
6. Treat him with respect
Adolescents constantly feel the need to be treated like adults and to start living according to the demands, responsibilities and benefits of adulthood.
Therefore, in addition to starting to demand new obligations, you must also show that we take his grieving seriously and making decisions, and it can even help us count on your participation in many activities.
7. Offer support at all times
As stated, active listening is essential for a good relationship with the adolescent, if he wants to share something with his parents or how difficult it is for him to do so.
In the event of a problem that must be brought to our attention, it is important to specify that you have our full support, our respect and that you will not be judged no matter what.
8. Don’t overprotect
Some parents tend to overprotect their children from an early age, an educational model that is not advisable at any stage of development, not even in adolescence.
We must be able to let go of our teenage son so he can make his mistakes and thus learn from it as it grows.
As with any other stage of parenthood, it is of great importance during adolescence establish rules and norms of behavior so that the person acquires a number of essential values and guidelines.
However, it can also be positive to be able to negotiate a rule as it can be subject to change depending on the good behavior of the teenager.
This type of negotiation can be done on issues such as when to get home, whether to give a gift due to good grades, etc. This way, young people not only have a richer and more varied incentive system to behave, but they also learn to regulate themselves. to achieve medium and long term goals.
10. Share your own experiences
Another key to maintaining a good relationship with teens is sharing all kinds of personal information that can be useful in your daily life.
This personal information can be both personal experiences and opinions, likes, hobbies, teenage anecdotes or advice of any kind, shared knowledge that will help forge a positive relationship between parents and adolescent children.