Guest Author - Dominique Jordan
It can be difficult to get along with your parents when you’re a teen. Some of that is part of being a teenager. You’re on your way to being an adult. Your family’s dynamics are changing and change can be hard. Here are six practical suggestions on how to get along better with your parents as you go through the transition of being a teenager.
Know The Rules.
Most of the time, teenagers aren’t really sure about the importance of household rules. Sometimes parents haven’t done a really good job of telling them those rules. So, if you take a moment to think about it and realize that you don’t really understand what they’re saying, ask your parents for clarification.
Many parents and teens sit down and make what is called a “contract.” Some teens are apprehensive about asking for a contract, but parents are usually impressed. When you make a contract, you and your parents negotiate what the rules are and what happens when those rules are broken. Then, you all sign it.
Here are some questions to ask when you make a contract or if you are trying to figure out the rules:
• What time is curfew?
• Are there certain people or places that are “off limits”?
• Do your parents expect you to achieve a certain grade?
• What about dating? What are the rules there?
• Do you have chores you are supposed to do regularly?
• What does “grounded” mean?
Try To Negotiate With Siblings
When you and your siblings fight, this stresses out your parents. And when your parents are stressed, it might be taken out on you – whether or not you “started it.” So, a good way to get along better with your parents is to try and “negotiate” rather than fight with your siblings. Fighting only raises the stress and anxiety levels of everyone in the family, so try your best to reach some sort of agreement.
Recognize That This Is Hard For Them, Too
You are their child and you always will be their child. It is difficult for many parents to think of their children as becoming adults. This new perspective changes the way they think about themselves. They’ve been parents of a “child” for so long, it’s hard to think about being parents of an “almost adult”.
Parents don’t always have all the answers, nor do they always do the right thing. So, realize that this is all new to them as well and have some patience.
The number one complaint parents have about their teens is that they don’t talk anymore. And when you don’t talk to the people you live with, disaster is inevitable. Basic communication is needed to make sure that the household runs smoothly at the very least. Good communication is necessary to keep a decent relationship with people.
It’s easy to get very involved with your new life as an “almost adult,” but don’t forget to communicate with those you live with as well.
Communication can come in many forms. One way is to share your dreams. Your parents want to be a part of your life. That doesn’t mean that you have to spend oodles of time with them or share every last detail, but let them know some of your dreams.
They also love to hear what their child wants to do with their life.
Another way to communicate is to share your concerns. This can be a little harder and so some good times to share concerns without feeling stressed are when you are shoulder-to-shoulder rather than face-to-face like when you are riding in a car or doing the dishes.
Ask For Space
Yup, parents can sometimes be intrusive. They are so used to caring for you, that they forget you are your own “almost adult” person now. They barge into your room, look at your stuff, and ask all sorts of personal questions. But instead of getting angry, ask for space. Let them know that you need your privacy and if you ask respectfully, more than likely you’ll get it.
Make A “Cool Down” Rule
Despite everyone’s good intentions, fights will happen. It is an inevitable part of life. So, plan for that and make a “cool down” rule. This rule needs to be put into place during a calm time and usually it is a hand signal or a certain word.
It’s to be used when things are just getting too heated and everyone needs a time-out during a fight. But don’t over-use it or your parents won’t respect it. On the other hand, if you use it well, it may just be the best thing that happened to your family.
In conclusion, getting along with your parents is all about communication and letting your parents know that you are an individual with your own ideas and sensibilities. Let them know that you are on your way to adulthood, respectively, and they will be more than happy to assist you in any way they can.