Loving your teenager

Some people reckon teenagers are a form of punishment for parents. I’m not sure I agree, but adolescents can be challenging. Here are a few tips for getting along a bit better.

Is there something positive about your teenager? Why not roll it into a genuine, unqualified compliment and
give it to your teenager. If you find this really really hard, then I suggest you really really try! If you find your temperature rising over some aspect of their behaviour, try to remember your own teenage
years. How would you have liked your own parents to respond? But don’t get too vivid in your recollections – I’m sure some parents get harsh and strict, not because of what their kids are doing but because of what they did when they were young.

Play a video game with them. Or grit your teeth, force a smile, and ask your teenager to play his or her favourite music. Discuss the music with them and why they like it so much. Don’t pretend to like it (I suspect my kids secretly erased any tracks that I claimed to enjoy) but do avoid criticism, because music is a huge part of their world. Recover from this bonding session by listening to an entire Beatles double album.

Get better at loving your spouse. Teenagers respond to the emotional atmosphere in a home. If there is bickering or tension between their parents they will respond to that, often in an immature way. They may avoid being at home, or ‘punish’ their parents for their behaviour. A secure relationship between their parents makes teenagers feel secure.

For more, check out John’s corner.


About Author

John Cowan

Writer, speaker and broadcaster, John Cowan shares his insight and opinions about the latest in parenting and family news in New Zealand. Hear John speak on radio stations every week throughout the country and regularly on national TV.  Follow @JohnCowanNZ on Twitter

1 Comment

  1. Avatar
    Mary Goldfinch on

    Would love to do what you and your spouse do. But the father of my kids has long given up any care for my kids.. I have them 24/7 and am exhausted. Can’t seem to find anything on your website for situations like myself. I am a Christian.. But really tough. Thx. Mary