It isn’t hard to jump to the conclusion that your child wants nothing to do with you, especially if they’re an adolescent. When it comes down to it, teenagers are usually a complete mystery to their parents whether the parents knows it or not. Between home and school they’re living double lives and one of those lives will be completely over your head.
The adolescent years are years of disconnection for teens.You’ll never know what kind of day they’re having at school. If you ask them, you’ll usually get the cliche reply that everything is fine, though in actuality they could be having the worst day of their life. They do this because they see you as one thing and that’s a parent. They don’t expect you to understand what’s going on in their lives.
When you probe them and try to give them logical adult solutions to their teenage problems it will only push them further away. So next time you get that sad “fine” as a reply, maybe tell them that you understand.
Middle School and High School are tough times for any kid. You’ve been there and you know it is. If they are struggling they’ll usually feel ashamed and won’t want to open up about it, especially to a parent. They probably couldn’t imagine you going through the same. That’s where you have to come in and prove them wrong. Share about your own Middle School and High School hardships. Once they know of your struggles they’ll likely open up and begin sharing and asking for your advice.
Dig through your memory bank and tell them about your experiences without any hold back. For your child, relive those terrifying moments you never wanted to think about again. Also assure them that life only gets better. The cruel and awkward world of adolescence is a passing one.