Communication Is the First StepOpen and effective communication is the key to a good relationship between you and your teen, especially when your teen is having problems. It’s essential to create a place where your teen feels safe and won't be judged and where they can talk about their feelings and thoughts. At the same time, it’s vital that you actively listen without talking over or giving solutions right away. This means that you should try to see things from their point of view, even if you don't agree with them, which can be difficult. However, this gives your teen the chance to be heard and, in turn, allows them to be more open when you do provide suggestions.
Offer EmpathyBeing able to understand and share someone else's thoughts is called empathy. When your teen is having a hard time, showing that you understand and agree with them can help a lot. Let them know that you feel what they're feeling and that those feelings are okay. As mentioned above, this doesn't mean you have to agree with their actions, but you should understand and accept their feelings and problems. Ways to show empathy and understanding are detailed below:
- Be a good role model: Children often pick up from what adults do. Show your teen how to behave by being kind and understanding and using healthy ways to settle disagreements in your own relationships and exchanges.
- Encourage good behavior: It's important to remember to praise and reward good behavior. When your teen makes a good choice or behaves better, praise them. Giving them praise can encourage them to keep making progress. At the same time, if they falter, teach them to find the lesson rather than admonish them.
- Do not rush: Things can go wrong along the way to recovery or growth, but change takes time. When you're trying to help your teen, be patient and strong. Your steadfast dedication to their health and happiness will have a big effect.