Parenting Tips: Listening to Your Teenager
This video talks through two ways of helping your teen. As well as explaining to you how to help, the video also tells you when to offer help and when to back off.
Guiding Your Teen
Often the best type of help is when you guide your son or daughter to find the answer themself. This helps them to develop problem solving skills. In addition it boosts their confidence by knowing that they have come up with the solution rather than you. You may not get direct thanks for solving the problem, but you can go away clear in your own mind that you played an important role. Even if they don't say so you will get extra points for being a good listener. This makes it more likely your son or daughter will share their problems with you in the future.
One key skill for parenting teenagers is knowing when to offer help and when to back off. Sometimes teenagers need space. They may want to resolve the problem on their own or they may simply want time to work out how they really feel about something.
Don't Jump In
This video explains why it is best not to jump in with your own solutions. It may be that your son or daughter just wants to express their problems verbally. A lot of adults do this too. Everyone finds it useful to get something off their chest from time to time. So your teen is not always looking to you to come up with instant solutions to their problems. Realising this can also help to take away some of the pressures of parenting when we feel it is our responsibility to deliver a perfect life for our children.
As a parent one of the best things you can do is get your child to understand you are there to listen to them when they need someone.