Prevent Damaging Drift from Your Teen : 5 Tips to Ensure Productive and Positive Conversations

Many parents, despite building and maintaining a close connection with their children at a younger age, come across a challenging period in their parenthood when their little ones are no longer “little” and are entering puberty and are now, talking less.

Taking into consideration that teenage years are a period of emotional, physical, and intellectual growth, it is completely understandable for many families to struggle with confusion, conflict, anger, and stress while trying to maintain a quality relationship with their teens who can often be stubborn, energetic, mischievous, hormonal, and rebellious, as well as silent and insecure.

Without doubt, this formative period in your child’s growth is essential when it comes to establishing their identity and individuality and they will need your encouragement and assistance, as well as sufficient room to become their own individual.

However, even though they are entitled to their own privacy, thoughts, and choices, if a parent experiences a worrying drift from his/her teenager, it’s good to know some useful tips on how to get back on track and support your children by further strengthening your bond instead of weakening it.

By reading this report you will gain a better understanding of why teenagers drift from their parents as well as gaining 5 valuable tips on how to have positive and productive conversations with your teen.

Why Do Teenagers Tend to Drift from their Parents?

As Lisa Firestone from Psychology Today explains, teenagers frequently have a natural inclination to separate from their parents so that they can establish their psychological autonomy.

And this is regardless of how good a parent you have been by now, at a specific point, your teen will probably begin to pull away, but luckily, this is a normal occurrence.

At this period of a person’s life, the parents become “less important” than friends and peers and this is when they will focus on self-realizing themselves and finding out who they are as people.

Firestone asserts that even though this will be burdensome for many parents and can often lead to feelings of “bad parenting”, you need to remember is that this is not about YOU, but about YOUR children.

Sometimes as parents, we may be unable to divide our experiences from the experiences of our child.

However, it really helps to learn how to respect their autonomy and to be there for them to help them with THEIR needs as opposed to fulfilling YOUR own ideas and projections about who your children should be and how they should behave.

Parents who are having a hard time reestablishing their connection with their teenage boy or girl can benefit from making positive changes in how they talk with their teenagers.

This will not just strengthen their connection and ease things for parents, but it will be of great advantage for their teenager’s development into a healthy adolescent and consequently, an adult.

5 Ways to Have Positive & Productive Conversations with Your Teenager

1. Converse from early on and do it frequently

Important talks with your child about topics such as wet dreams or menstrual period should be done before they begin.

You should also explain early questions that most children usually have regarding their body, the distinction between girls and boys, and where do babies come from. What matters when talking with your young children is to not over-explain, but to simply answer their questions.

You can also use the help of a good friend or a professional for answers you have doubts about. When you start noticing that child is being more occupied with their looks and is maybe making sex-related jokes, you should prepare them for what to expect in the years to come in order to prevent them from feeling afraid or ashamed of their emotional and physical changes.

In this way, you will ease their journey through teenage years- offer them books and share your own teenage experiences when necessary- it will all be worth it. They will know that they have a parent and a best friend in one person to rely on for everything.

2. Put prejudices aside

Not every parent finds it comfortable to talk with their teenagers about dates and crushes and you may also not approve of the clothes they want to wear or the parties they want to go to, but you need to break the ice.

You should know that this is considered a normal phase in their lives and it is your role to accept that their interests are a crucial part of their growth, even though they may not be something you are keen on.

Avoid using harsh rules because the child may resort to rebelling, but you should not you just stay aside and ignore what is going on completely. Overcome your discomforts and be open to talk about all topics they show interest in and share your experiences as well.

In addition to respecting their lives and individuality, you also point them to necessary information and strengthen their self-respect as they approach adulthood. Remember, the more your child feels accepted by you, the better, because they will accept themselves more and be more confident and comfortable in bringing responsible decisions in life.

Firestone points out that constantly assuming that your teenager is not making good choices and establishing overly-strict boundaries may result in the child failing to realize their full potential.

Though it may seem too difficult, sometimes, parents should just let their children be and maintain their safety through balanced restrictions, but more importantly, by having regular conversations about how they are doing and what they are feeling, by helping them feel safe around you, and by giving them the much needed space to grow.

3. Make the right rules