The teenage years are some of the hardest years that anyone has to go through. They can be that much harder if teens feel like they can’t talk to their parents, or that they aren’t getting enough attention. Though teenagers might act like they want to be left alone, in reality they still need their parents’ care. It’s important for parents to try to get a feel for how much attention is too much, and spend time with their teen without crossing the line into smothering them.
Teenagers are going through a hard time developmentally, mentally, emotionally, and hormonally. They might feel ready for all kinds of things that they aren’t, and afraid of the future. Unfortunately, a lot of parents approach subjects like sex, adulthood, and maturity with their kids with just as much awkwardness as the teenagers themselves do. In every case, it’s better to cultivate a dialogue with your children before it’s time to have these kinds of conversations. Doing that is often easier said than done, however, since, to many parents, it really seems like adolescence turns their sweet children into moody strangers.
A good way to help cultivate a dialogue with your child is to spend time with them doing other things, like enjoying hobbies, crafts, and other activities together. This will provide parents with a lot of teaching moments to teach their teens about things like staying healthy, eating a good diet, and other facts that it’s important for them to learn. It will also make it easier for parents to talk to their kids about tough subjects, like sex, drugs, and adulthood, when the time comes. Without spending enough quality time with your children while they’re growing up, you might find that they aren’t as receptive to you when it comes time to have serious talks with them. This doesn’t mean that you need to be your children’s friend, just that you have to build a strong foundation with your kids before you’re able to talk to them about the important stuff, and have it stick.
The way you spend time with your kids is less important than the fact that you spend time with them. It could be doing something as simple and silly as playing games together a few times a week, or even just going fishing, hiking, or horseback riding. All of these things can constitute quality time with your kids, which will help make them more receptive to you when they need advice, or someone to confide in.
Teenagers seem to push their parents away during the times that they need them the most. To make sure that you’re still able to talk to your teen when you need to, it’s important to spend quality time with them. By scheduling a lot of fun activities for your whole family, you can help keep your child from becoming withdrawn, and encourage them to come to you with any questions that they might have.