As the parent of a teenager, you may often find yourself thinking about how it used to be so much easier to enforce rules, boundaries, and limits on your young child. Now, your child has grown into a teenager (new territory for everyone!) and your child has learned how to push, and even reject, limits set on them. This can be confusing and frustrating.
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This blog is written by the clinicians at Jonah Green and Associates, a mental health practice based in Kensington, MD that provides quality services for children, teens, families, and adults. It is intended as a resource for families who are seeking to expand their knowledge about mental health and mental health services, and also as a resource for families who are seeking quality mental health services, especially in the mid-Atlantic region. Please feel free to post questions and comments on any of the entries as well as on any topics or articles from our companion web site www.childandfamilymentalhealth.com.
As teenagers become more independent, they often spend more time away from home, and when they are home they are often behind closed doors or focused on other things. It might also feel like your child is less interested in talking to you, but there are plenty of things you can do to maintain a strong positive relationship and stay connected with your teenager. Hint: It’s the little moments, not the big occasions, which can really count.
As a family therapist, I often hear from parents, “I’ve tried everything and my kids still won’t listen to me!” Of all the tasks of parenting, one of the most difficult is that of giving directions. Being a parent can involve not only responding to kids’ schedules and various needs, but also attending to work demands, partner and friend relationships, as well as personal and household tasks. Amidst multiple responsibilities and high levels of stress, giving directions to kids can be very challenging, especially when they ignore or resist. Here are some strategies that many parents have used so that their directions are better heard, and ultimately followed: