13 Ways To Build A Good Relationship With Your Teen

Have you ever found it difficult to build a good relationship with your teen? Have you ever felt disappointed, upset or confused that they don’t seem to understand where you’re coming from? Well, they probably feel the exact same way.

I have always had a great relationship with my daughter, Shalini. But she turned 13 a couple of months ago and since she became a teenager, I must admit there have been a few ups and downs. I wrote a letter about how I felt when she hit this milestone to help me deal with some of these emotions.Relationship With Your Teen - Shalini And I On The Beach In The Dominican RepublicShe has so much going on in her life right now and wants to explore different interests, go out with her friends and spend some time on her own too, dealing with the changes in her life and enjoying her own company.

I know how I was as a teenager; stubborn, hormonal and sometimes rude. Shalini is going through pretty much the same. And as hard as it might be sometimes for Sukh and I right now, trying to understand her, I know one thing for sure. She needs us more than ever.

So I have come up with 13 ways which can help us to build a good relationship with our teen. Hopefully you will find them useful in helping you to connect with your own teenager too.

1. LISTEN TO THEM

As parents, we have the tendency to talk at our children and reel off a list of orders and expectations. It’s easier to instruct a child to do something but they’re now teens. They need you to listen more and talk less. So ask them about their day. Ask them questions without intruding and when they give you that opening, take it. Don’t just listen intently but really hear what they’re saying. They might not be comfortable in sharing their inner thoughts but if you make the process easier and they know their conversation isn’t falling on deaf ears, they might find it easier to build a stronger connection with you.

2. STAY CALM

It’s so important to stay in control of your temper. It’s easy to fly off the handle and show your disapproval or disappointment if your teen has done or said something which doesn’t sit right with you. It may be a big or small thing but it’s important to stay calm. I know flipping out has been an emotion I have been quick to display but I’ve learned to just hold back because losing your temper straight away could escalate and push your teen away. So choose your battles. Is it something you can let go? Is it something you feel is better addressed at a later time? The other important thing is not to undermine them or show them up in public. It’s easy to tell your child off in front of other people but count to ten and hold back. Don’t embarrass them. It will push them further away when they’re already going through a range of emotions.

3. SPEND QUALITY TIME

One on one time is so important when your child becomes a teenager. You may have other children and all of them need your undivided attention. But I feel a teen needs that little bit extra. It’s easy to think of them as older and therefore concentrating your attention on their younger siblings but your teen needs you now more than ever. Their bodies and minds are going through a whole lot of change. Some of it they understand but there are things they might be confused about. Take them out for a walk, for lunch or to the cinema. Whatever it is, make sure they know you are completely present with them and ready to talk and listen if they need. Make it a regular thing because this will strengthen your relationship with your teen.

4. PRAISE THEM

Don’t hold back on praise. If they have done something right, tell them. It’s such an obvious point but we often forget to shower praise on our children for whatever reason. I make a real effort to tell both of my kids that I am really proud of them when they do something well – and even when they haven’t done something so well. I still praise them because if they have given it their all, no matter the outcome, they deserve the well done. Teens are much more sensitive despite their tough exterior and sometimes defiant attitude. Show them you appreciate their efforts. Be there for important events in their life; assemblies, award ceremonies, parents’ evenings. Be ready to show your approval.

5. LEARN TO APOLOGISE

If you have done or said something wrong, be ready to apologise for it. This shows moral leadership and you want to set a good example for your teen. They’re much more likely to acknowledge their mistakes if you can confidently acknowledge your own. Teens can be rude and stubborn but they can’t always be in the wrong. When you have said something you shouldn’t, be genuine in your apology. Tell them why you’re apologising. You may have lost your temper or misunderstood something they said. If you can’t address your own mistakes, it could push them away. As adults, we are more likely to forget things said in the heat of the moment than a teen. They’re more likely to dwell on it and that’s not productive for your relationship.

6. HAVE A LAUGH

Tap in to your sense of humour and really make a big deal of using laughter as a way of bonding with your teen. Have a laugh with them. Be ready to giggle when they say something funny. Kids come out with all sorts of comments and observations which we’re quick to laugh at because we recognise they’re a child. It’s no different for a teen. Everyone likes to have a laugh but be genuine about it at the same time. Your teen will see right through you if you give them a fake giggle or a pity laugh.

7. UNDERSTAND YOUR TEEN

Remember that they’re growing up. Their bodies are changing. Their emotions are all mixed up and confused right now. They will have mood swings. They will have moments when the tears just roll and the doors slam. Respect the change in them and give them time on their own to deal with it. Don’t suffocate them with all of the points I’ve mentioned. Pick the right moment and sometimes let them lead the situation. They will tell you when they’re ready to talk through things – as long as you show them you have an open-door policy and are there whenever they need you.

8. LET THEM MAKE MISTAKES

This goes with all children. Let them make their own mistakes and sometimes even fail at things. Don’t jump in trying to resolve their problem or shoving obstacles out of their way. Let them find solutions to their own problems and allow them to tackle challenges alone. If they need your help they will ask for it. Your teen is at a stage when they want to be more independent. It’s good for them to deal with a situation in the same way an adult would. You’ll make them stronger this way and they will appreciate it too.

9. GET TO KNOW THEIR FRIENDS

Your teen will have made new friends at High School and they may continue to chop and change people their inner circle for some time. Make an effort to get to know their friends. Ask how they are, ask to meet them. Offer your house as a get-together spot when they all want to chill out in the evening or on a weekend. By staying connected to their friendship circle, you’ll stay connected with your teen without stifling them.

10. GIVE THEM SOME RESPONSIBILITY

Show your teen you think they’re responsible enough to make decisions for the family. These could be small things like deciding what to have for dinner, what movie to watch or where you should go for your next family vacation. Give them responsibility around the home too. Put them in charge of certain tasks. Not only does this show you value their input but it also sets them up for adulthood when they will be making tough decisions throughout their lives.

11. SHARE THEIR INTERESTS

Take an interest in what they’re in to. You could ask if you can join them when they’re watching their favourite TV show or listening to music. Maybe let them decide what music you should listen to when you’re in the car. Show interest and ask questions. Even if it’s something you don’t know or understand. Make the effort to know what they like. Make sure you’re across the latest apps and what each platform is all about. If your teen is old enough to be on several social media channels, hopefully they’re doing it safely. I will address this in an upcoming post.

12. SET BOUNDARIES

Talk to your teen and involve them in the process of deciding what is acceptable. What time can they stay out till? How far can they venture out on their own? How will pocket money work? Boundaries are really important because your teen still needs to know their are rules and consequences if they break them. If you show them you value their input, hopefully you won’t face adversity at every turn. Teens will continue to test the boundaries but make sure both parents are in agreement and show a united front. You might not want to compromise on anything but try to meet them some of the way.

13. BE A FRIEND BUT DON’T FORGET TO PARENT

Try the best you can to be a good friend to your teenager. Like I said before they need you the most right now, so do all of the things I’ve mentioned above. Those are things a friend would do for a friend; listen, laugh and understand. But at the same time, you’re a parent too, and of course you have to continue to be a responsible adult to keep your child safe, healthy and have them grow up to be an all-rounded individual. Be ready to say no when you have to. It’s important to strike the right balance.

So, during this stage of slamming doors, defiance and pushing you out, the most important thing you can do is to show them you love them unconditionally. I hope this list will help you to build a good relationship with your teen and be a good parent to a teenager.Relationship With Your Teen - Sukh And Shalini On The Beach In The Dominican RepublicHave you read my post My Daughter Is Taller Than Me?

 

64 Comments

  1. February 5, 2019 / 9:18 pm

    I should bookmark this – my little boy is only 6 – admittedly going 16 – but no doubt I will need these tips in a few years time! Thanks for joining #TriumphantTales, hope to see again you next week!

    • Rosie
      Author
      February 7, 2019 / 11:23 am

      Thanks Jaki. I needed them before the ‘actual’ time with my daughter but hopefully you will find them helpful too x

  2. February 5, 2019 / 11:02 pm

    These are such great tips. As Jaki said above, I also have a few years before my little one becomes a teen. I have no doubt we will be needing these! #TriumphantTales

    • Rosie
      Author
      February 7, 2019 / 11:23 am

      Hi Jo, it comes around so quickly. Hope you find them helpful when the time comes x

  3. February 6, 2019 / 9:09 pm

    Really well said! We’ve got quite a while until the teen years, but I can see how the foundation of these pointers can start coming into play already. Thank you for sharing these tips with the #dreamteam x

    • Rosie
      Author
      February 7, 2019 / 11:16 am

      Hi Annette, yes I must admit I started working on some of these as soon as Shalini became a tween. Hopefully you will find them helpful in your own journey x

  4. February 7, 2019 / 1:54 am

    I totally get it!! As a mom of a teen these tips come just in time .. thanks for sharing with us at #alittlebitofeverything

    • Rosie
      Author
      February 7, 2019 / 11:15 am

      Thanks Iveth. Glad you understood just where I’m coming from x

  5. February 7, 2019 / 12:19 pm

    My oldest just turned 13 too! I’m particularly working on spending quality time as I feel that her younger siblings are monopolising me at the moment and like you say, I want her to be able to talk to me and really connect with her. The parent/ friend thing is really hard, that’s definitely a work in progress! #ablogginggoodtime

    • Rosie
      Author
      February 11, 2019 / 1:12 pm

      I understand, Sonia. It’s really hard to balance the attention. We spread ourselves so thinly but I really feel teens need us that little bit more x

  6. February 7, 2019 / 4:16 pm

    Wise words full of common sense…I’ll be sure to check back when I’m dealing with 3 teenage boys!! #TwinklyTuesday

    • Rosie
      Author
      February 11, 2019 / 1:11 pm

      Thanks for reading, Emma. Wow good luck with your three boys. One teen is enough for me at the moment! x

  7. February 7, 2019 / 8:58 pm

    Great tips – listening and admiring your wrong is important I think in building strong relationships X #stayclassymama

    • Rosie
      Author
      February 11, 2019 / 1:10 pm

      I agree, Sam. It’s easy to talk over them and push our views on to them. We need to be a little more patient and hear them out x

  8. Maggie
    February 8, 2019 / 11:50 am

    My son is 11 and I’m taken your 13 tips , I’m starting now this will help me a lot to build a strong relationship especially in the teenage years. Thanks for sharing this helpful advice.

    • Rosie
      Author
      February 11, 2019 / 1:10 pm

      I’m glad I was able to offer some handy tips. Thanks for reading, Maggie x

  9. diynige
    February 9, 2019 / 8:50 am

    This is spot on all great tips for a good relationship with your teen love this post Thanks for linking to #Thatfridaylinky hope to see you next week

    • Rosie
      Author
      February 11, 2019 / 11:11 am

      Thanks Nige. I enjoyed writing this one x

  10. February 9, 2019 / 8:57 am

    Let them make mistakes – my favorite one. So often parents want to protect their children at all costs. Kids need to flex their muscles while still having the safety of their parents. #GlobalBlogging

    • Rosie
      Author
      February 11, 2019 / 11:10 am

      Thanks Heather. Yes we go out of out way to protect our kids but there are some battles we need to allow them to fight on their own x

  11. February 9, 2019 / 11:53 am

    Love these tips! My little boy will be 13 in a couple of months and I feel like we have already hit a new phase! Ill take these tips on board – thank you! #triumphanttales

    • Rosie
      Author
      February 11, 2019 / 11:09 am

      Thanks for reading Jennifer and I hope you find them useful. It’s not plain sailing but it’s not all bad either. It’s just learning to manage the situation when they have their bad days. I know what I was like at that age so Shalini is pretty mild compared to me! Lol x

  12. Sigrid Chu
    February 9, 2019 / 1:36 pm

    Hello Rosie,

    These are wonderful ways of making your relationship with your teen stronger. As I read them, I know that I can also apply them to my relationship with my son, even if he’s just 5 years old. Whenever we have our “discussions” he often tells me I don’t let him talk. I know what he’s trying to say. He wants to talk first. Once he told me that when I talk first, he forgets what he needs to tell me. But here I am, wanting to make my point first. I have to change my ways. Thank you for your advice.

    Best,
    Sigrid

    • Rosie
      Author
      February 11, 2019 / 11:08 am

      This is great Sigrid. There’s a lot I’m learning as I go, as we all do. Just like you, some of these tips are handy with my 9-year-old too x

  13. cerdynvilla
    February 9, 2019 / 3:55 pm

    excellent list and so important to learn to acknowlege your own mistakes to them too and allow them to not always be full of the joys. I’ve never raised girls. all mine are boys. I was terrified of having a girl as I remember being a really horrible teenager. Mum insists I wasn’t that bad, I think time has softened her memory, or maybe she’s going senile ;-). My youngest son is 21 now. #keepingitreal

    • Rosie
      Author
      February 11, 2019 / 11:07 am

      Oh wow Berni, so you’ve been through everything I’m still yet to face. Well you’ve lived to tell the tale so there’s hope :-). Thanks for reading x

  14. Tracey Carr
    February 10, 2019 / 5:47 pm

    Great tips, I am not near there yet as my daughters are 4 and 2 but it is always in the back of my mind. And particularly my husband’s! I think he is secretly dreading their teenage years! #thatfridaylinky

    • Rosie
      Author
      February 11, 2019 / 11:06 am

      Thanks for reading Tracey. Yes when my kids were younger I thought I had all the time in the world. I can’t believe I’m a mother to a teen already! Hope you find the tips handy when your time comes x

  15. February 11, 2019 / 12:00 pm

    As a mom of 2 boys who are now 22 and 20, I think the teen years are the most challenging in parenthood. Great tips you have here.

    #GlobalBlogging

    • Rosie
      Author
      February 11, 2019 / 1:08 pm

      Thank you, Veronica. Wow you’ve been through it and lived to tell the tale. Hopefully I can get through it unscathed! x

  16. February 11, 2019 / 12:24 pm

    Great tips, I think I could apply some of these to life with my 6 year old! Thanks for sharing and linking up #twinklytuesday

    • Rosie
      Author
      February 11, 2019 / 1:07 pm

      Thanks Kate – yes I’m able to use some of these for my 9-year-old boy too x

  17. February 12, 2019 / 12:28 pm

    Hi Rosie, you’ve shared some great tips there. As parents we are here to guide our ‘bundles of joy’, whilst letting them learn how to cope in the big wide world. If we don’t allow them to make their own mistakes then they will never learn. That’s when being non-judgmental and a good listener comes in. And most importantly they must always know we love them unconditionally… I must admit I haven’t always understood where my two were coming from, but I realize that doesn’t always matter as sometimes (now they are older) it is okay to agree to disagree.

    Thank you for sharing with #keepingitreal (sorry I’m popping by so late).

    xx

    • Rosie
      Author
      February 12, 2019 / 2:33 pm

      Thanks Debbie. I’m with you – it is OK to agree to disagree. As long as they know we’re there for them and will hear them out x

  18. February 13, 2019 / 9:11 pm

    I was an awful teenager and I have no idea how my parents put up with me! I dread my older two hitting puberty at the same time and all those hormones… Thanks for linking up with #stayclassymama

    • Rosie
      Author
      February 14, 2019 / 9:15 pm

      Yes it’s ups and downs every day but Shalini is mild compared to how I was at her age! x

  19. February 16, 2019 / 10:08 am

    It’s a tricky path parenting teens isn’t it! I have a 16yr old and a 13yr old so I’m caught up in all the hormones at the moment ha ha.

    I think the teenage years can be hard on us mums because we’re suddenly not needed so much and we’re having to get used to giving them the freedom to do things on their own.

    Parenting is never easy is it, but I do think this is my favourite stage! xx

    • Rosie
      Author
      February 16, 2019 / 2:31 pm

      Yes it’s never easy but I’ve made up my mind to try to enjoy every bit – even the downs x

  20. February 17, 2019 / 3:25 pm

    Such good advice in this post. Have a wonderful weekend!

    • Rosie
      Author
      February 19, 2019 / 5:43 pm

      Thanks Laura. Appreciate you stopping by x

  21. February 19, 2019 / 11:30 am

    I love this. It’s so difficult when you have teens, they want their independence so much but also need boundaries. I think we’re getting there with BP, although he still has his issues. I’m hoping that despite going through a phase of not wanting to talk to me he’s coming out the other side and is much more willing to talk. 🙂
    Thanks for sharing with #pocolo

    • Rosie
      Author
      February 19, 2019 / 5:47 pm

      Thanks Morgan. Yes it’s difficult to get them to open up sometimes but as long as BP knows you’re there, that’s all that matters x

  22. February 23, 2019 / 4:30 pm

    This is such great advice. My son is an only child and is now 38 and these are the things that worked for us when he was a teenager. It was only by the grace of God that I did the things you are talking about so I am glad you are giving others the benefit of your wisdom. #KCACOLS

    • Rosie
      Author
      February 26, 2019 / 10:20 am

      Thanks so much Sheila. That’s great to hear – at least these methods have been tried and tested with success x

  23. mackenzieglanville
    February 24, 2019 / 5:06 am

    I could not agree with you more, these tips are spot on. My daughter is 14 and my other daughter almost 12, so many changes going on and I truly believe really listening to them is key and being able to admit we get things wrong too. Thanks for linking up with #ABloggingGoodTime Happy weekend!

    • Rosie
      Author
      February 25, 2019 / 12:43 pm

      Thanks Mackenzie. Yes listening is the most important part x

  24. February 25, 2019 / 4:14 pm

    This is an amazing post, I’ve shared it as I think more people need to see it #KCACOLS

    • Rosie
      Author
      February 26, 2019 / 10:17 am

      That’s fantastic, thank you x

  25. February 25, 2019 / 9:12 pm

    Great tips. Will probably need this in the future. My biggest issue is letting them solve their own problems. That’s really relevant at any age. Even with my 9 month old I have to hold myself back. I see her struggling to reach a toy and I want to help her so with every fibre of my being but as long as she’s not upset there is really no reason for me to get it for her. By doing so I’m removing the motivation to become mobile. I have this issue with my toddler too but she just gets mad when I don’t let her figure things out on her own.

    • Rosie
      Author
      February 26, 2019 / 10:16 am

      Yes that’s the hardest part – not to swoop in to solve their problems or mow down their obstacles. It’s important at any age that we let them find their own solutions x

  26. madelinelittlejohns
    February 27, 2019 / 10:25 pm

    My eldest is only 7 but I’m already slightly dreading the teenage years because I just don’t know what to expect with them, so this advice will be tucked away for when I need it! x #ABloggingGoodTime

    • Rosie
      Author
      March 4, 2019 / 6:40 pm

      It’s not an easy phase of their lives but as long as they know you’re there for them and will listen when they need it, that’s the most important thing x

  27. February 28, 2019 / 3:10 pm

    Great advice. I have a 14 year old and a soon to be 13 year old girls. They are all over the place! It’s easy to get caught up in the everyday and this is a good reminder to step back and appreciate them for who they are and all the changes they are going through and spend time with them #KCACOLS

    • Rosie
      Author
      March 4, 2019 / 6:39 pm

      That’s exactly right, Clare. Spending time with them is so key, as is listening to them x

  28. March 1, 2019 / 2:54 pm

    My boys are only 5 & 2, but this is some great advice. I need to take notes for a few years from now. Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time!

    • Rosie
      Author
      March 4, 2019 / 6:37 pm

      Thanks Lana. I think some of it relates to kids of any age but as they get older, I somehow feel they need us more as they navigate their way through a difficult phase in life x

  29. March 2, 2019 / 12:46 pm

    These are great tips! My girls are 8 (almost 9) and 4 but I can see my eldest already getting closer to that phase! I really like No 9. I think it is so important to get to know their friends. You are so right here and I will definitely do this even more when she is in high school. Thanks for the advice and sharing your tips with us 🙂 #kcacols

    • Rosie
      Author
      March 4, 2019 / 6:36 pm

      Thanks Franca. It’s such a juggling act and a difficult task at times. But listening and understanding is the most important thing for me x

  30. Jennifer Carfora
    March 3, 2019 / 1:39 pm

    These are all useful tips. My mom and I didn’t really get a long a lot growing up. She did a lot of yelling and never apologized. I need to learn from that so I don’t make my son feel the same way as he gets older. Thank you for sharing! #KCACOLS

    • Rosie
      Author
      March 4, 2019 / 6:35 pm

      Absolutely Jennifer. My mum was great but she also never apologised. I don’t know if it’s a generational thing – but when I’m wrong, I tell the kids I’m wrong x

  31. stickymudandbellylaughs
    March 30, 2019 / 1:26 pm

    Fab tips here Rosie! And what a lovely relationship you have with Shalini. I will be taking your sound advice on board for when my boys reach their teenage years.

    Have a great weekend and a lovely Mother’s Day! x #MMBC

    • Rosie
      Author
      April 1, 2019 / 7:11 pm

      Aw thank you. Glad you enjoyed the post and hope you find the tips useful x

  32. March 31, 2019 / 5:13 pm

    This was a really lovely blog post. I’m sixteen and have the most amazing relationship with my mum – she’s always been my best friend, and I’ve never understood when people say they don’t get on with their parents. I definitely have ups and downs with them, but I’m not desperate to leave home or anything, and I jump at the opportunity to do things with them! I think another thing which is really important is to be as supportive as you can when it comes to education; exams are so stressful, and it definitely makes me go a little crazy, so it helps when my mum is helping me through them as best she can. It sounds like you have an amazing relationship with your daughter, & she’s very lucky to have you as her mum!

    • Rosie
      Author
      April 1, 2019 / 7:18 pm

      Thanks for reading Soph and taking the time to write such a lovely comment on this post. I think it’s fantastic you have such a lovely relationship with your parents and that you voluntarily want to do stuff with them. I think that’s so important. And point noted about education and exams. The right support from your loved ones is so key. I plan to be as supportive as I can when Shalini has her exams. I do my best now with whatever activity or project she has x

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