It’s important to know how to approach teens, especially when one might be struggling. Teens have a lot of pressure on them, and it’s necessary to understand this when communicating with them. They have a mix of hormones and emotions that are swirling around in them at all times, and they are expected to know what they want to do for the rest of their lives and start planning it. We ask a lot of them, basically placing the pressure of them preparing for their entire lives, when the most important thing to them is their friends and their new crush.
Here are a few ways for you to connect with your teen.
Trust is one of the most important things to a teen. They don’t want to feel like their privacy is violated or like they are micro-managed. They believe they know what is best for them, and they believe they have everything under control. A little bit of trust a go a long way in a relationship. Perhaps your teen has done things to break your trust. It’s important to try to rebuild this trust at the earliest opportunity. Approach your teen from a place of caring and never from an accusatory or angry place.
Talk to your teen, make promises and keep them, offer help, leave them simple notes about how proud you are of their work or a simple “I love you.” Text your teen when they are out. This will help build a communication channel and they are more likely to tell you where they are and check in while they are out if this becomes a normal channel of communication. Spend time with your teen. Take them out, go on walks, or to lunch or dinner, ask them questions while you are out together. Get to know them and what is happening in their life. Don’t pry and don’t judge when they open up to you. Casual conversation often leads to feelings of security and opportunities for them to really speak to you.
Recognize a Cry for Help
Often we don’t recognize the road a teen is going down until it’s too late. It’s important to be aware of certain actions early on. If you suspect something is wrong, it’s important to get involved. Remember to communicate with your teen, don’t come at them from a place of anger or fear, talk to them with concern and care.
Here are some things to watch for in your teen:
- A drop in grades or lack of interest in their school activities
- A change in friends, dropping old friends for new undesirable friends
- Acting withdrawn or depressed
- Avoiding conversation
- Frequent changes in mood
- Excessive lying
- Defensive about activities and whereabouts
- Missing money or items
Open Channels of Communication
Communication is the most important aspect of any relationship. You want to make sure you are communicating with your teen and not attacking them. Teens are difficult creatures to communicate with, and you can often feel like you’re speaking in an entirely different language than they are.
They might feel attacked even by a simple question. It’s important to read the situation and their mood and approach them with care and concern. Create channels of communication early on and talking with your teen will be much easier. If there are channels of communication open it is easier for your teen to confide in you and tell you what they are feeling and what might be wrong.
There comes a time when we realize we might need help with our teens. This is something that we often don’t want to do, and our teens might push back against. But it doesn’t mean it’s not the right thing to do. We don’t always have all of the answers, and seeking out others that have experience in this area is good for everyone involved. There are several options available to you and your teen.
Wherever you are at with your teen, it’s important to communicate with them and to know that there are resources and help out there. Read more about what we can do for your family at http://eagleranchacademy.com.