Listen when they talk
Being a teenager isn’t easy. Kids are entering an age in which they have to start asserting and practising being more independent. It is a stage during which they have to consider decisions that may affect their future, their careers and how they would like to live. You may well have forgotten that it is quite a demanding and challenging period in anyone’s life. So, in the rare moments that they are willing to share their thoughts and emotions, stop whatever it is that you’re doing and give them your full attention. This way, they will know that they have been heard and that you value the opportunity to communicate with them.
Try not to dictate
The best way to try to understand what they are thinking is to ask. On the way back from school, ask them their opinions on matters of the day. Ask what they think of Donald Trump and why they hold those beliefs. Any news of the day is an opportunity to get into their heads and try to understand Generation Z and how they consume information on the internet.
Acknowledge their emotions
Teenagers experience extreme fluctuations. One moment Zandile is their best friend, and the next minute it is the new kid on the block, Tanya. Many of these mood swings are the result of hormonal and other bodily changes. Try to be understanding if they are moody or short-tempered. This is their stuff, not yours. Just stay calm and let it go. It is a phase, and it, too, shall pass. They will eventually realise and appreciate your kindness and understanding.
Allow them to make decisions
Even though you may not always embrace the fashion look of the day, we’re pretty sure your parents did not always approve of your outfits either. If you allow them to make choices about stuff that matters to them, you will be fostering decision-making skills. Equally important, you will prove that you trust their judgement. One technique to encourage wise choices is by suggesting a few alternatives. Do you want to go for a walk to the café for a cool drink? Or would you rather start your assignment, while I pop some Ital Pizza Slices in the oven? Shall I add some crispy bacon? Wow, which teen could argue with that?
Enjoy these TastyTips?
PS. Have one of your own? Let us know in the comment section below.
Like this article? Share it with your friends.