A basic human need is to have happy and healthy relationships
They are very important to most people but particularly for children and young people. They affect how they think and feel about themselves, how they feel about others and their values but also helps them to manage themselves and develop as an individual. Relationships don’t automatically begin and remain supportive or fulfilling; they must be developed and nurtured. They take time, patience, energy, commitment and learning of social skills by all the parties involved.
You and your Teen
Being a parent is tough. Being a teenager is tough too and this is why these relationships can be challenging! We’re all only human and our emotions can often over rule our reactions. First step is to try to stop and think! Is your reaction going to calm the situation down or provoke a negative reaction? Is it going to help the other person feel loved, secure and valued? Have you considered the other persons point of view?
Try and encourage open dialogue with your teen. Allow them time and space to express their viewpoint without interruption and ask for the same back. Mutual respect can be built this way. Reassure them that you love them and that what you say is always because you care. Talk about how the situation makes you feel to try and encourage empathy and ask them to do the same.
You, your Teen and their Friends
We all need friends and we all need the right ones who make a positive contribution to our lives! Talking to your children about what is and isn’t OK in a relationship can help them to make positive choices with their peers.
As we know, friendships change and develop over time and like many other things during adolescence, complications, changes and hurt at this time are frequent. Young people are seeking to find their own identities as well as that of their friends who are doing the same thing – it’s confusing!!
Encourage communication with your teen about their friendships by not only asking questions but by really listening and responding to the answers they give through demonstrating you were listening. If you can also encourage them to spend time with their friends at your home this helps you to have an insight into their friendship. By also monitoring the use of technology without being intrusive, this helps you to support your child.
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