Raising a teenager is strange beast. It’s not like watching your sweet baby morph into a tantrum throwing toddler or your toddler transform into a reading and writing little boy.
It’s like watching the transformation of Hulk in 3D in your home. You know it’s going to happen, you can see it happen but when that big green monster is standing there you are completely unsure of what the heck just happened.
Your sweet child transform physically, they grow, a lot and often if you have a boy, you suddenly find yourself looking up at them. There cute little toddler voices are replaced with gruff, deep guttural sounds. They smell a little funky, they look at you like really have no business being alive.
It takes a fair amount of adjusting but you don’t really have that kind of time because it happens overnight, no really it does!!! Communication is one of the biggest things teen moms struggle with because there is often is none!
There are times though you do need to find out what’s going on, here’s a few ways to make it easier for you both.
- Ask the right questions. If you are how their day was, you will probably get “fine” so rather ask “Any rubgy matches this week” or “Anything I need to sign”. You may still get a yes/no but at least you are gathering information.
- Don’t push. If you insist on them telling you how their day was or what’s going they will probably shut down more, ask and let them know you will be there to listen when they are ready.
- Listen when they don’t know you are listening. If they are with friends, don’t eaves drop but if they are sitting where you are, listen to what they are talking about, find something that you can talk to them about later – like a movie they are into or a singer or even a style of clothing.
- Accept where they are. Just because your teenager doesn’t want to sit and shoot the breeze with you doesn’t mean they don’t love you. It just means they are muddling their way through their life at the moment. They are figuring out who they are and how they fit into the world. Give them the space to do that!
- But remember to never stop communicating. Even if it is hard and they reply in grunts and one words, never stop talking to them. Your teenager needs to know you are always there for them, even when they don’t want you to be. So keep asking, keep talking, keep reminding them that you are there.
Like with potty training, teething and sleepless nights, this is just a phase. Your teen will grow up, they will start talking to you again. If one thing in parenting is constant it is that everything changes all the time.