Ahhh. The teen years. That very awkward stage right before entering adulthood. Many parents dread their child’s teen hood and many teens dread their parents. It’s a phase when relationships may go awry. Mothers and daughters don’t get along, fathers and sons challenge each other. Communication takes a hit and “attitudes” run amuck. It can be hard to know what’s your relationship like with your teen? Here are a few ways to know if you have a good relationship with your teen.
Have you established a healthy foundation with your teen? At the base of any healthy relationship is two-way trust, honesty, and respect and not least, love. As a parent have you been able to establish these within your relationship? This happens long before the teen years hit. When teens know what to expect because of the foundation that has been laid, it makes a teen/parent relationship that much easier.
Is there open communication? Having an open line of communication with your teen is key to keeping a healthy relationship. Teens respond to parents who are open to active listening. Listening without judgement or criticism fosters a relationship where communication is allowed. Asking questions that convey interest rather than probing helps teens know that you care and not a quest to find wrongs. Encouraging words rather than discouraging words promote positive relationship. “That’s not good enough.” Vs “I believe you can do better.”
Do you have a connection? Is there any one thing that you and your teen vibe on? Do you like the same music? Do you share a like for a particular sport? What about a physical feature that you might have in common. These are important, but seemingly trivial ways that you create a connection with your teen.
Ask your teen, on a scale of 1-10, how would he/she rate your relationship. If it’s below 5, this is a great time to open conversation with your teen about how he/she views your relationship. If your relationship with your teen could use some help, don’t hesitate to seek out counseling.