It is often easy for a teen to express that they are angry or sad, but difficult for them to let you know about deeper feelings such as, “I feel alone,” “I feel rejected” or “I feel hurt.” Many times, kiddos shy away from being vulnerable because they are fearful of being embarrassed or rejected. Therefore, cultivate a home environment that invites your child to share their feelings and be sure to validate the feelings that they share.
Teens also find it difficult to ask for help because they may believe that they won’t be taken seriously, heard, or understood. If your child is asking for help, praise them on their bravery and challenge yourself to attempt to understand. Your child will appreciate the effort you are putting in to better understand them and their needs. After all, you were a teen once too! Think about something you would have wanted your parents to hear and understand about you.
Finally, society has made it seem as if teenagers want nothing to do with their parents or families, which is not true for many adolescents. Teens absolutely enjoy their freedom, but don’t forget to create time to spend with your teens even if it seems like they don’t want to be bothered. Try your best not to force time spent together, rather make sure they know that you are interested in being around them more often. Many times, when a teen is spending more time away from their family, it is because they are going through something that they believe no one or only their peers would understand. Therefore, be consistent in showing your teen that they have your undivided attention when taking them to lunch or going on parent-child dates that interest them. They may surprise you and ask your opinion!