I am fascinated with the notion that most parents think their teens do not want to spend time with them and try to avoid interacting with them. In today’s post, lets try to analyze why this may be so.
Day 3 of my writing challenge in 2019 and I think I am going strong. The most part of today was spent working on some client strategies, client communication and signing up for personal development courses.
I signed up to Leo Babauta’s Fearless Training Program which helps you:
- Cultivate fearlessness with anything we experience
- Push into uncertainty with joy and deep purpose
- Shift habitual patterns around stress & distraction
- And much more.
It’ll train you to shift your patterns so you can pursue your meaningful mission, to change the world, to push into the uncertainty and discomfort of creating something amazing. You can find out more about this program by clicking here.
Next, I signed up to the awesome Marketing Seminar by Seth Godin! The Marketing Seminar teaches you something you didn’t think you needed to learn, but then, quite suddenly, you’ll wonder how you got along without it. It helps you see what’s possible, connects you with others going in the same direction, and gives you the foundation to do the work you’ve always wanted to do. You can find out more about the seminar by clicking this link.
Due to yesterday’s headache which I feel has not completely left me, I skipped the gym today.
Ok, now that my daily journal is done, let us get to the topic of today’s post: Who are your teens spending time with?
These days (and probably the same was the case when we were kids), you hear a lot of parents complain that their teens do not want to spend more time with them or that they downright avoid them completely. Typically parents tend to blame the generation, the media, TV, Youtube, Netflix, computer games, xBox, Playstation and the man on the moon.
But if you think about it carefully, I believe it boils down to the question of who or what your teens are spending time with.
If they are not spending time with you, I encourage you to think about what is in your power and control to try and remedy the situation. Could it be that when they do spend time with you, your “parent mode” is constantly on and you tend to put them off by your constants demands, orders, criticisms, and outbursts?
Here are a few possible ways to remedy the situation:
Are you in the habit of simply telling your child to do something and when asked why they should do it, you retort by saying “because I said so”? This is one of the biggest issues between parents and children. If you do not explain why you are asking your kid to do something with a clear logical explanation, then they begin to doubt your intentions and values. They will tend to rebel against and do everything they can to not only not do the thing that is asked of them but also to try to avoid the parent altogether.
It may be very tempting to discipline your child for every little thing and order them around. A lot of people do that – without even realizing they are doing it. The constant disciplining would turn children away from you. Because the time they are spending with you is painful.
I understand there needs to be some discipline. Things around the house need to be done, chaos needs to be managed, homework needs to be completed, greens need to be consumed. But at the end of the day, they should come second to the bond you forge with your child.
If your child tends to spend time on their phone or computer or social media etc, and avoid spending time with you, then all the little things that you were getting upset about would feel meaningless.
Manage Your Expectations
This may overlap with the above point but managing expectations about your kids should be a priority for you. Even if you are perfect and never does any wrong, do not set an impossible standard for your kids. Be flexible in your expectations and always measure them against the big picture – where your kids love and respect you and want to spend time with you. That is much more rewarding than any expectation you may have for them.
Show Unconditional Love
It is your responsibility for correcting and guiding your teens. But how you execute your corrective guidance makes all the difference in how a teen perceives it.
When you have to guide your teen, try not to blame or criticize, or undermine self-esteem which can then lead to resentment and avoidance. Try and nurture an understanding environment while still being firm. Just make sure your teen knows that although you are displeased with their behavior or whatever it is that you are upset about, that you still love them unconditionally.
Make Time For Your Teens
And finally, take a deep look at how you are spending time with your teens. Are you making special time for them? I am not referring to time at the dinner table or the breakfast table or the time in front of the TV watching a program that you like. I am suggesting special time doing what your teen likes.
Try and understand and watch movies or shows that your teen loves. Try and listen to music that they like. Try and understand what games are about and see if you can have a conversation about things that your teens find interesting.
I recognize that I am not an expert on this topic but I am a father and have lived with two teens and have worked hard to try and avoid all the pitfalls I mentioned above. I am trying to share my experiences and things that I have learned. Let me know if I am wrong in the comments below.