Being a parental figure for a teenager comes with its own category of challenges.
If you are unprepared, the teenage years can be some of the most stressful, which is why it’s worth figuring out how to stay close with them.
It is incredibly difficult being a teenager in the modern world, from social media influences to incredibly high standards for style and appearance.
Try to show your teenager that you are on their side by using the following tips for shoeing them that you love them.
Love Them Unconditionally
Firstly, it is highly recommended that you accept your teenager as they are, and that you aren’t setting unrealistic expectations for them.
They will succeed on their own and find a natural drive, so you shouldn’t worry about that.
Even though it’s because you want what’s best for them, teenagers have enough to deal with without receiving pressure from their parents.
Unconditional love means that you do not equate the amount or quality of affection that you give to your teenager’s accomplishments.
For example, a teenager that is struggling with their weight management might get praise when they lose a few pounds.
Even though this is generally seen as a positive motivator, a teenager can equate their worth and ability to be loved with their weight.
Teenagers’ brains are still developing, and it is important to give them everything that they need in order to grow into successful adults that are emotionally mature and comfortable in their own skin.
Make Time For Them
Quality time is a way of showing love for many people, and the same applies to teenagers.
If you are struggling to show them that you love them, then you could schedule to spend some time together.
This could be a big shopping trip to change their wardrobe, something fun like trying a new restaurant together, planning a hike, or a trip to the salon for matching nails.
Something as small as an afternoon when you give all of your attention to your teen without interruptions or distractions will mean a great deal to them.
You could even turn off your phone and go for a long drive where you can sing along to cheesy music together.
It will make them respect you a little more, and they are sure to appreciate the time spent with you.
Remember That They’re Still Kids
Another thing that many of us are guilty of is treating teenagers like they are fully developed adults.
They still enjoy child-like forms of entertainment and fun, and this innocence should be preserved as much as possible.
Remember that your teenager is still a child that is developing into an adult over time, and that you shouldn’t necessarily treat them like an adult.
No matter how much they may try to push you away, they still need you to support them.
Show up to their recitals, celebrate the small wins, and play with them.
These are all key for creating a strong bond with your teenager, that can gain their respect and trust over time.
Let Them Teach You Their Hobbies
Something that works with children of all ages is getting them to show you how to do a certain task.
Even if it is something that you know how to do, you could act like you have forgotten it and that you need someone to direct you.
This is great for a child’s cognitive development because it allows them to process something that they know differently, and break a task down into smaller steps.
Of course, it can be difficult to do this when it comes to teenagers because they may see through your acting.
However, you could ask them to tell you more about one of their hobbies or something that they are passionate about.
This gives them the chance to express themselves and to explain something that makes them who they are.
It can be a great way to show your teenager that you love them.
It is also important to think of open-ended questions to encourage them to explain a particular concept a little more to help you understand.
The great thing about this method of showing your teenager that you love them, is that you have the chance to learn something new about them while showing them that their opinion and interests are important to you.
Hype Them Up
Find a way of complementing your teen without embarrassing them. A good parenting practice to get into is focusing on the positives.
This could be getting the grade that they wanted in a test, or getting through a tough week.
Complement them on how hard they have been working, or even their appearance.
Make sure you find ways to make your teenager feel good about themselves and confident.
The adolescence period is one of the most challenging stages of life. Because of this, it is important to build your teen’s confidence and self-esteem as much as possible.
Talk To Them
Tell your teen that you love them frequently, even if they don’t always say it back. It’s important that they are reminded.
You could leave them small notes for them to find on their bed, or give them small gifts occasionally that have meaning to them.
Communicating that you love them in different ways is a great way to show your teenager that they are important to you.
It can help build self-esteem, confidence, and a long-lasting bond between them and you.
Teenagers face a significant amount of challenges on a regular basis, and it is important that we are challenging this with plenty of positive reinforcement, encouragement, and quality time spent with them.
Think about the things that your teenager values highly, and how you can use that to show them how much they mean to you.
Getting love from parental figures shouldn’t be something that teenagers need to ask for.