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Strengthen The Parent-Teen Relationship

Is the relationship between you and your teenager strained? Do you spend more time arguing than communicating? Maybe your teen is silent and isolated, and you’re struggling to understand why. If so, you can find comfort in knowing that these are everyday experiences within the parent-teen relationship. Your child is changing in ways they don’t understand in a world much different than the one you (the parent) remember, weakening your relationship.

What do you do when there’s a disconnect between you and your teenager? Just as your teen has matured, evolved, and changed, you must be willing to let go of parenting practices you used when they were younger and adjust to the person they are today. If you’re concerned about the distance between you and your teen, perhaps these concepts can help you get things back on track.  

Talk 

Don’t let the silence or isolation of your teen cause you to stop communicating with them. Your conversations let your teen know that their seen, cared for, and loved. It harnesses a safe environment that encourages your teen to share their innermost feelings, thoughts, and experiences. 

Communicating with your teen should be more than lecturing or disciplining them. Diversify your conversations and discuss everything from current events and school to entertainment and hobbies. Get to know your teen’s perspectives, opinions, and experiences while being vulnerable enough to share yours. 

Spend Quality Time

Sharing the same living space and daily routine with your teen doesn’t equate to quality time. When monotony enters the relationship, it causes you and your teen to drift further apart. Mix things up by designating a time to reconnect. It’s an opportunity for you to talk, create memories, and strengthen your relationship. Whether you eat snacks and binge-watch movies or plan a shopping trip to the mall, the more time you spend with your teen, the stronger your connection grows. 

Boundaries And Freedom

One of the most stressful aspects of the parent-teen relationship is finding a balance between boundaries and freedom. Setting rules and consequences are essential tools parents use to establish structure and identify positive and negative behaviors. However, as your child ages, some of those boundaries restrict their ability to find themselves, overcome challenges, and navigate everyday life. 

While setting boundaries is necessary, parents should allow their teens the freedom and flexibility to grow. Allow them to participate in activities they like, hang out with their friends, and make decisions for themselves. If their actions or behaviors step outside the boundaries you’ve set, hold them accountable by dishing out a consequence. Doing this encourages your teen’s independence and cultivates a trusting environment that will improve your relationship. 

Count On Your Village

One of the hardest things for a parent to admit is they need help. You’d like to believe you have all the answers when things are going haywire in your relationship with your child. However, that’s not always the case. Sometimes, the strain on your relationship is due to deep-rooted issues that you’re not equipped to handle yourself. 

When you admit you’re in over your head, you can begin tapping into resources that can make an impactful difference. Where do you turn when your relationship with your child is falling apart? Your village:

 

  • Other Parents – Although every parenting experience has differences, you can garner wisdom, support, and advice by turning to others. Talk to parents of teens or young adults you trust to receive guidance on navigating the struggles you’re experiencing. Because they’ve been where you are, they can give you insight into the most effective actions.
  • School – Your teenager spends six hours or more in school every day surrounded by teachers, counselors, and support staff. They know your child and can often be excellent sources of support when you’re having trouble at home. School staff can share what they’ve observed, point out red flags, and even make recommendations on how to improve. 
  • Coaches and Teen Program Staff – If your teen participates in sports or other after school programs, talking to coaches or program staff can also be instrumental in identifying issues and strengthening your relationship with your child. 

 

Southern California Treatment Centers for Teens

Have you tried the solutions above with no resolution? Maybe you’ve noticed that your teenager is dealing with overwhelming emotions that cause them to act out (definace, lowered grades, violence, substance abuse, self-harm, etc)? You may need to find a Southern California Treatment Center for teens. These therapeutic centers offer programs to help teens deal with overwhelming feelings and challenges in modern society. 

Mental health professionals use teen DBT programs or Dialetical Behavior Therapy to help teens analyze their actions, control their emotions, and make positive decisions that produce better outcomes. It allows teens to deal with unresolved issues, which can often break down the barriers that have placed a wedge in their relationships with their parents. 

Your child will always be your baby, no matter how old they get. So, when you feel a strain in your relationship, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed. Rather than chalking it up to typical teenage behavior or tightening the reigns hoping it will force them to change, use the steps above to strengthen your bond. 

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