Sometimes teenagers aren't given enough credit. They're smart and, with the proper knowledge, they can make informed decisions just like any adult. The trick is having the wisdom to know when your teenager is ready to learn certain lessons.
Talking To Young Adults
It's easy to forget that you shouldn't treat teenagers like children. When you eye their every move and talk down to them, you'll eventually lose their trust. When you allow them to be themselves and, at the same time, nurture them when they need it, they're more likely to open up to you.
One reason why conversations with teenagers can be so difficult is because it's challenging to walk that fine line between treating them like an adult, while still exerting some parental control. It's also tough to watch your children make mistakes that you think you could've prevented. The only thing you can really do is give them guidance when they are open to it.
These tips may help you strike a good conversation with your teen:
Make an extra effort to talk to them, but don't push the issue. It's normal for a teenager to withdraw from communication from time to time.
As long as you have no reason to be suspicious of them, you should respect their privacy.
You can wait to have certain conversations with them until they're ready, but on the other hand, you don't want to wait too long.
Talking About Sex
Sex is a topic that you may naturally feel awkward talking about, no matter who you're having a conversation with. With your own teen, it can be especially tough to have an open and honest talk. Letting them know you're feeling nervous is a great way to help break the ice for you, and bridge the gap between you and your teen.
Chances are they already know a great deal about this topic. However, if they ask you questions, be honest with your answers. It's actually better for them to be getting information from you. You'll know that what you're providing is accurate, and you'll be building a lasting relationship with your teen that will grow into adulthood.
While there are certainly differing opinions on the subject, try to get your perspective across without being judgmental.
Talking About Drugs
The topic of drugs is another important one. It's best to be educated early on this topic. Children should be taught to avoid drugs, so it's certainly a topic you should bring up with your teenagers from time to time.
If you're involved in your teen's life and have no reason to believe they'd be involved with drugs, you probably have nothing to worry about. However, if your teen acts withdrawn and you don't know their friends very well, there might be a problem.
Trust your instincts. If you think something's up, then strive to be more involved. You may be dealing with a tough situation and, therefore, you should make the extra effort to bring up the issue with your teen.
Trusting Your Teen
It all comes down to the issue of trust. Remember that trust is a two way street. If you maintain a good level of trust and honesty with your teen, they'll feel comfortable having conversations with you. This will hold true even if it's one of the tougher conversations. Just make sure you remain open to your teen, and they'll come to you for advice.
If you need help learning how to connect with your teen, reach out! We'd love to help!