Parenting is difficult at the best of times, but everyday challenges reach a whole new level when your child becomes a teenager. As such, you may be finding it difficult to maintain a close connection with your teen, as they adopt new behaviors, ideas, and traits. 

While there is no right or wrong way to parent a teenager, there are certain ways you can connect and support them as they find their own way in the world and determine the person they wish to become.

Despite the hurdles you may face during the transition, be assured that your child will always know that you are their number-one support. It’s simply about finding ways to strengthen your relationship now they have reached the next stage of their life.

Here are four tips to better connect with your teenager.

  • Be a good listener

Take an active interest in your teen’s life—whether it’s concerning school, hobbies, or relationships. Additionally, monitor their body language and facial expressions to determine their thoughts and emotions.

All teenagers will question themselves at some stage as to who they want to be and where they fit in the world. It’s the job of a parent to stand back and allow them to open up to you when they need advice. Be ready to listen and acknowledge their worries, fears, and queries. Even if you don’t agree with what they have to say, it’s important to acknowledge that you understand and support their point of view.

  • Create a teeanage den for their independence 

If your teenager is growing up in a household with younger siblings, they may be frustrated at not having their own space, unlike their peers. All teenagers need their own space from time to time to recognize who they are as individuals, as well as being part of the wider family unit.

If they are forced to share a bedroom with siblings, you could instead help them create a teenage den with a loft or garage conversion. This will become a space where they could invite friends or enjoy time independently gaming, reading, or watching their favorite TV shows. Add furnishings such as bean bag chairs for teens, a games console, and mini drinks fridge so they can help themselves to their own snacks.

  • Enjoy weekend activities together 

While you may be worried about your teenager pushing you further away, they will still want to have special time with you. Once you gain a clearer understanding of their newfound interests, you may find it easier to plan activities and simply enjoy one another’s company. 

If however, they get the impression that you’re constantly meddling in their business, they will likely begrudge spending their free weekends with you, so aim to keep the relationship relaxed and open to prevent conflict. 

  • Give them space to explore and experiment 

Unless you have a valid reason to do so, overseeing everything your child is doing is only going to cause them to revolt against your rules and boundaries. In fact, the more breathing space you give them to explore safely, the less likely they will take risks and impact their well-being.