You may remember your own teenage years as tumultuous and troublesome, but as a parent of a teenager today, you might be feeling more upset and lost than you imagined. How can you interact with your teen in a way that's both positive and reassuring for both of you?
Because you're the parent, you might simply not want to get into a back and forth over family rules. You might think it's better to "put your foot down" no matter what; you may not want to be a weak parent or appear to be a pushover. However, realize that your teenager may have a point with some arguments they're raising. They may be right about something. Do your best to listen critically and ask questions so that you fully understand the points they're making before you reject them outright.
Do Things Together
Some of the friction you may experience with your teenager could be because you still think of them as your sweet little child instead of the adult they're growing into. This is likely because they are spending more time with friends than they used to which means you may not know them as well anymore. For that reason, it's critical that you spend as much time with them as they'll allow. They might want to spend a lot of time in their room or out of the house, but make family dates for different events and activities. You might even enlist their help in planning those activities so that they'll be more likely to interact and become excited about what you're doing. Become committed to doing things with them as often as you can so that you can get to know the adult they're becoming.
Don't Get Too Emotional
You may be surprised or upset because of some of the things your teen says to you. However, realize that much of the time they don't intend to be hurtful. If you respond emotionally at the moment, you might respond in a way that can harm your relationship. Try to stay logical and calm during disagreements and arguments.
Asking other parents for help can give you the resources you need to work through different situations. You can talk to your teen's friends' parents or talk to your own parents. You can sign up for membership in online message groups or forums. By talking to other people who deal with teenagers regularly, you can get different ideas that could make handling your own teenager easier.
With these pointers, raising a teenager can be a simpler undertaking. Family therapy could be another good decision; with a professional, you can learn techniques that will help you better communicate and interact.