Bonding with your Teenager

Bond with your teen
Teenage can be a rough time for both parents and children. Children are caught in their hormonal swings, trying to figure out how to live in the cusp between being a child and an adult. Parents are suddenly facing this new creature that seems to be very different from the one they have been dealing with for the past dozen years - A big little person who is confused, sometimes angry, moody and just overall difficult to deal with. Teenagers are frustrated that they are not understood and parents are frustrated that they are not able to get through to this new sullen person who is happy in the morning and grumpy in the evening.  However, there are a few things you can do during this rough time to smoothen the relationship to the best possible extent.Tg1
  1. Get to know their friends: Teens always reveal more of their inner self to their friends. While they try to be the person whom parents want to see, they let go and are able to be themselves only with their friends. So, keep your house a welcome place for your teenager and his /her friends to come and hang out. Chat them up and keep them on friendly terms. It will go a long way in helping your relationship with your child. You will also get a few insights along the way.
  2. Spend some device-less time - Today we are caught in a world of devices and distractions. It is a common sight to see teens wearing ear phones and shutting out the external world. Even parents are so consumed by their devices. There is always constant email, SMS, whatsapp messages etc. One hour a week, set aside exclusive time with your teen. Go get an ice cream. Leave your devices at home. And see what happen
  3. Find activities that you can do together: Activities can bring people together. If your teenager is into playing the Xbox, get him/her to teach you to play a simple game. Watch a cricket match or a favourite TV program which you usually don't watch with them! Make an effort to figure out one thing that you both can do together which could be fun for both of you. Show some enthusiasm. Participate in it wholeheartedly and the joy that you share will strengthen your bond.
Tg2Inevitably, you will butt heads with them. And when you do, both of you will be seething with anger.As the bigger person, let go off your ego. It is after all your child. Here are a few things you can do to break the ice:
  1. Send them a funny mail: Send your kid a funny video that you found on YouTube. Or a joke that you received in an email. Even if they don't think it is funny according to their taste, they would appreciate your effort.
  2. Be a companion: Go and sit quietly next to them. Even if they are too angry to talk. Just be in the same room and read a book, listen to your music. Just be physically present.
  3. Watch old videos: Bring out the old videos or pictures of their childhood and look at it together. Both of you will realize how much you love each other and how much you cherish each other.
Tg3Finally, teenagers are very conscious of earning your trust. They want to be trusted. So Trust them-! Forgive them for their slip ups and give them a chance to redeem themselves. After all you were a teenager too once upon a time and if you were really honest with yourself, there is a good chance you did the same things yourself, or would have, if you had had the opportunity!