6 Things That Are Keeping You From Getting Along With Your Teen

All parents who are raising, or have raised a teenager can appreciate that a teen is not always easy to get along with. Is this problem always the fault of the child? You may be delighted to know that there are 6 basic issues that can break down any relationship, and that by fixing one or more of these, you can start over again with positive, long-lasting results.


1) Critical Differences
These differences exist in our needs, opinions, views, and our expectations of one another. Be willing to negotiate and compromise on the things you want from your teen. It’s important to try to see things from their point of view. This doesn’t mean that you must agree with one another, but rather that you can understand and respect your differences, your points of view, and your separate needs. Do not demand that your child change to meet all your expectations. Work to accept the differences that you see between your ideal and the reality. Remember to give and take. Give what you are comfortable with and accept what your child can give. Contribute your time and effort without unreasonable expectations in return.

2) Communication

Stop and listen. Force yourself to hear what your child is saying. Discuss your differences and expectations. Let each other know what your different needs are. All people want to be taken seriously and be appreciated, including your teen. When you listen attentively without interrupting, you are showing respect. Allow your child to tell you about the books they have read, the things they did, the people they like or dislike, and how they feel. Listening will give you the opportunity to learn more about their values and expectations as they develop.

3) Conflict
Professor of Medicine, Jon Kabat-Zinn once said, “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.” Misunderstandings and conflicts happen between a parent and a child no matter how close they are, or how much they have in common. Knowing what’s important to each other will avoid unnecessary conflicts. Remember not to sweat the small stuff. Lower your expectations and show kindness. Make your child feel your warmth by offering help and kind words. Acknowledge their talents and achievements. Give praise and appreciate their efforts. Because in the end, both you and your teen desire harmony and love.

4) Trust

Remember that this goes both ways. It’s common for teens to destroy their parents trust with a few mishaps, but does your teen totally trust you? Are you consistent? Do you do what you say you’ll do? Do you overreact when things don’t go as planned? These are all things that cause a child to mistrust their parent. If trust in a relationship has been damaged, then it’s time to start over with clear rules and some baby steps. It’s recommended to start simple with the following acts such as, being on time for each other, doing what you say you will do, not lying, and not overreacting. This goes for both the parent and the child. Eventually, trust will be rebuilt and so will the damaged relationship.

5) Emotions
Avoid arguments. Remove ego and pride. In arguments, people want to prove a point using force, threats, and intimidation causing resentment. In this situation, no one actually wins or benefits. Step back, and look at the situation from a different point of view. You are not submitting, but altering the outcome by letting others see that you are committed to the relationship. You should try to compromise. Another great tactic is to mirror each other by repeating what you hear the other is saying, to ensure that a thought is being communicated correctly.

6) Lack Of Respect

In any meaningful relationship, both partners need to respect each other. They make promises to each other and keep them, and they avoid speaking ill of each other’s shortcomings just to feel better about themselves. And most importantly, listening and caring about what your child is saying and experiencing is crucial. Even an inexperienced child knows the difference between a parent giving empty hum-haws, and a parent who is present, making eye contact, and is genuinely interested.