The lack of understanding with children who have embarked on a path of growing up is the problem that millions of adults around the world face. But mutual understanding between parents and adolescents is simply necessary, no matter how difficult it is. Here are some tips from V. Sattir, a psychologist from the USA, how to find a common language with a teenager?
Adolescence is not the easiest period in a person’s life. At this time, an explosive cocktail was seething in the blood out of a thirst for independence, a vague expectation of future successes and victories, doubts about what to do in the future, and an incredible amount of energy that required an exit. And who knows what path a teenager will take? It is not surprising that parents are worried and worried.
- Here it is necessary to accept the state of the child and create the conditions that are necessary for his harmonious growing up. Remember how you once protected an inquisitive kid from dangerous objects. So here you need to act according to certain rules, which are dictated by the characteristics of adolescence. For example, to respect the dignity of a teenager, not to refuse advice and support, to help build self-esteem.
- Try to understand and accept the mood changes that are so characteristic of adolescent behavior, his changed vocabulary and the desire to prove his independence. Even if his beginnings do not end too well.
- It will not be superfluous to master the psychological techniques for overcoming conflict situations. Get ready for the fact that it will not be easy with a teenager, but you need not to lose mutual understanding. Continue to communicate with the child, be interested in his life, discovering something new in him, something that did not exist before. Here a lot depends on the atmosphere prevailing in the family. To maintain trust and survive a difficult period without loss is much easier in an atmosphere of love than fear and alienation.
- Give the teenager a certain freedom of action, do not choke him with prohibitions. Of course, this advice does not apply to illegal, immoral or overly expensive things. For the rest, let him do as he sees fit.
- Each of us adults has a teenage period behind. We all made mistakes and gained experience. But there is a significant difference between experiences and experiences that left a deep mark on the soul, a scar. Experience allows us to take responsibility, cope with life's difficulties and fully encounter turmoil and problems. Experiences, however, are of no practical use; they are often only evidence of our weakness and defeat of the spirit. And no matter how many years have passed - such wounds may not heal for decades and remind yourself at the most inopportune moment..
- Parents should try to ensure that their child has a growing crisis without emotional wounds and a complex that they will have to deal with later on all their lives. Many parents are aware of this and worry in advance. Here, inappropriately, not the most pleasant memories of your adolescence come into your head, and fear arises: how to protect from this own child? Sex, alcohol, drugs, bad companies - this is not a complete list of what scares adults with teenage children.
- Not everyone is ready to speak openly with their child on topics of intimate relationships or violence. But restrictions and silence are also inappropriate here. A teenager will still strive for relationships of this kind. And not only because of the sexuality characteristic of this age, but also for the sake of warmth, tenderness and emotional closeness. And, for example, deliberate aggressiveness is often an attempt to hide their weakness and vulnerability.
- The success of solving some problems does not depend on luck or a coincidence, but on whether you own effective algorithms. Knowing how to get out of the situation is already half the victory.Suppose you can save a child from excessive anxiety if you do not lose contact with him, and you do not let him feel lonely and rejected. He should know and feel that parents do not care what he does, that they see his success, and are also ready to lend a helping hand in difficult situations.
- As mentioned above, adolescents are experiencing a tremendous surge of energy, which is looking for its way out. Show sensible and safe options to relieve accumulated stress. It can be sports or intellectual stress. To some extent, a teenager can be compared with young racehorses, who gnaw at a bit and cannot wait to open the enclosure and let them out into the open. People who were very recently children enter the adult world and try to learn how to live there. All this is exciting and a little scary.
- Parents are often worried about the increased activity of adolescents, their indefatigable energy. They try to protect them from dangers with all sorts of prohibitions, not realizing that this will lead to nothing. It is wiser to show the teenager the ways and directions where his energy and thirst for activity will come in handy. And do not forget, of course, about love and mutual understanding.
For example, you should not bring a daughter going on a date with a gentleman, moralizing, and disturbing notations: “Do not forget that you are a girl from a decent family. Do not let him get too much! ”There is a good chance that I will run into a retaliatory rebuke:“ Mom, I’ll figure it out, your advice is out of place now! ”Better teach her how to behave in a meeting with a young man, how not to let yourself be offended and not drop own dignity.
Only in a situation where the teenager’s feelings are respected, when he is treated as a person who has the right to his own opinion and actions, and mutual understanding and some kind of change for the better are possible. It's just great to know that your child needs your advice and appreciates them.
What advice can be given to parents who seek to find understanding with a teenager?
• Do not be afraid to speak openly about your worries and fears.. The child is quite capable of understanding your fears and regard this as a manifestation of concern for him.
• But also a teenager should know that he can count on reciprocal understanding on the part of mom and dad. He should be able to share his problems with his parents without criticism and resentment from them.
• Demonstrate readiness for understanding not in words but in deeds. This does not mean that the child needs to forgive any nonsense.
• A teenager has the right to be heard, but not given advice, until he himself asks for them.
• Parents should be prepared for the teenager to ignore their advice and act in their own way.
If these simple truths are understood, then it is possible to build a normal dialogue between two parties that respect each other. And on the same basis are built trusting, constructive relationships.
Many adults seek mutual understanding solely in words, but in reality do not want to change authoritarian behavior in relation to a teenager. Do not be afraid to be honest and admit that you do not know or do not understand something. In this way, you will not only not lose your authority in the eyes of a teenager, but will also win a few points in your favor. Words like “I know from my own experience how difficult it is to approach a girl that you like ...”, “At your age I also did not know what to do in this situation ...”
We all understand that smoking is harmful. But an adult can truly realize this common truth and has the right to make a decision. He can throw smoke.
This sounds surprising and absurd, but most adults themselves have not completely solved the problems of adolescence. Therefore, they do not feel experienced enough to give practical advice to their son or daughter. But such ignorance is not easy to admit, so parents prefer to play the role of knowledgeable people. It happens that this bluff works, but you should be extremely careful, as adolescents on an intuitive level feel falsehood and very sharply react to insincerity.
Adults are better off frankly admitting their incompetence on any issue than playing and trying to put themselves in a better light. The cooperation of parents and adolescents is facilitated by the presence of common interests and values.
We give an example from a real practice: a teenager categorically refused to go to school. No persuasion worked. And it was very important for the boy’s parents to get an education, since they themselves did not have such an opportunity. Parents sought to give the child what they themselves were deprived of. The psychologist helped all parties to the conflict to understand their feelings and motives. It turned out that for the teenager himself, education was not an empty phrase, he understood the importance of the diploma for later life. But the young man was abhorred by those patterns of behavior that mom and dad chose for themselves. He perceived this as violence against a person, an attempt to control him. During the consultations, these people learned to hear and understand each other, the conflict was settled.
And the stumbling block here was not getting education at all - in this all the participants in the story agreed, but in methods and models of behavior. Parents chose the “winner and vanquished” scheme, and the wayward teenager violently rebelled against such a distribution of roles, protested against dictatorship and imposition.
Conflicts of this kind happen between people quite often, and it does not depend on age, gender or social status. Any violence sooner or later leads to trouble. In the pair “winner and vanquished” there is always a struggle for power, for influence and the right to control. But here you always have to pay for the victory with the loss of trust and close relations. Returning to the topic of “fathers and children”, it is worth noting that it is vital that such interaction schemes are adopted in the family that do not involve losing one of the parties. Only cooperation!
We give an example. The teenager reports that he has run out of pocket money, and asks for more. An adult from a position of winner can shame and refuse help. But the following answer will be more advantageous: “Yes, I understand you, I myself was not able to control spending at your age. Now, unfortunately, I do not have available funds. Can your purchase wait? If not, let's think together what can be done here. ”
See how different the answers can be in the same situation ?! In the first case, the adult chooses the path of rudeness and punishment. In the second, the readiness for dialogue and cooperation is visible, but for the child it is a sign of understanding and evidence of parental care. Money is secondary here.
What can be advised if the child wants to work? Almost everyone in their teens seeks independence from their parents. Only.
- If you want a teenager to trust you and seek your advice, then be honest and sincere with them. Young people really appreciate these qualities and reciprocate, but hypocrisy simply can not stand.
- Try to keep your promises.. Keep silent if you’re not sure that you can give the promise. Teenagers are very upset by situations where parents do not keep their word, even if this happened for objective reasons, and there is no adult guilt.
- As a rule, teenagers prefer to spend time with friends, their peers. Do not see in this evidence that he leaves the family, moves away from them. This is completely wrong. It's just that the child is now at an age when friends come to the forefront, not relatives. Here you can only advise loosening control, but at the same time try to keep abreast of events taking place in the life of the child. Try to meet his friends, establish a dialogue with them.
- Remember that your child still needs your help and support. Sometimes he pretends to be an adult and a person wise in life, who can cope with all the problems on his own, but then a day passes - and before you is a confused baby, waiting for his mother to come and everything will work out. But for a teenager to accept your help and advice, he needs to trust you.
Try building relationships with a teenager based on trust, cooperation, and respect. A bit of good and not offensive humor will not hurt here. But prohibitions and restrictions are not good allies in building "bridges" between parents and adolescents. It is wonderful when love and mutual understanding reign in the family. But even if it turned out differently, then tight control will not fix the situation. Put yourself in the place of a son or daughter: will it really be nice for you to hear reproach and instructions instead of friendly advice?
In the struggle for independence, teenagers can break a lot of firewood and do stupid things. This is normal, it is also an experience to be gained. But the child will fill a lot less cones if he knows that he can come to his parents at any moment and ask for help and advice.
And how does a teenager perceive his problems?
- They want to be loved and understood in any situation. Even when they look not the best way. They want to believe in them even when they themselves do not believe in themselves. Believe me, teens are very vulnerable and dependent on public opinion.. There are times when a teenager is overcome by despair from his own ugliness or awkwardness. And there are times when they are ready to confront the whole world alone. So everything is unpredictable, but very sharp, at the peak of emotions.
- They do not need criticism, but they need a calm understanding and help when they cannot understand their own feelings. Any failure is perceived by the adolescent as the end of the world, so it is so important at this moment to turn his shoulder to him and just listen.
- They need a place where they can retire to indulge in dreams, cry or just think about their problems.. Sometimes they urgently need someone who can shake them, pull them out of depression, or say a hard “stop, that's enough!” For another stupid thing. But at the same time, adolescents do not tolerate moralizing and reminders of their mistakes and misconduct! Believe me, they themselves are well aware that they were presumptuous or guilty, it’s not necessary to once again reopen these wounds.
- They want sincerity and openness from adults. Only then can we count on their trust. And the fact that they spend a lot of time with friends does not mean that parents no longer have a place in their heart. Love them and receive the same love in return.
- Sometimes adults try to push the child out of well-meaning. To protect from mistakes or make it more perfect. That is, the intervention is dictated by love and the desire to protect. But as a teenager, this is perceived as violence against a person and the restriction of his freedom, which at this age is incredibly valuable. Therefore, not requirements and orders will help you, but constructive methods, communication not from a position of strength, but on an equal footing. Learn to see situations when you invade the “space” of a child, and stop yourself in time.
When can I say that the teenage crisis has been successfully overcome? In that case, if a young man or girl learns to show their independence to the place, if they can hear and feel not only themselves, but also those around them, and understand what should be done in a particular life situation.
Our children are always nearby. But they still grow up somehow too abruptly and unexpectedly for us parents. And this process is accompanied by many.
The result of adolescence should be self-esteem, responsibility for one’s words and actions, ability to interact with people and competently get out of conflicts. Only then can we say that a person is truly ready for adulthood, ready to be independent and happy in it.
Parents of a teenager are also not easy to understand and accept the changes that occur with their child. They are horrified that they can no longer completely control his life, but it is too early to let the teenager go free swimming.
Here are some tips to help you survive this period and not ruin your relationship with your teenager.
• Choose a calm, friendly tone for communication. Do not yell at the teenager and do not give vent to your annoyance or resentment. And even more so do not insult - the child may not forgive this!
• Always listen to a teenager if he wants to talk about something. Appreciate these moments of frankness and do not spoil them with moralizing and reproaches.
• If there are several children in a family, do not make fundamental differences in their requirements. That is, there should be no concessions to one in those matters in which the second has no forgiveness.
• Involve your child in family life, do not let him move away from household chores and plans.
• When giving advice, be prepared to be ignored.
• Do not trust what the child says in moments of anger or resentment. Remember that it is incredibly difficult for him to keep his emotions in check. In fact, he loves you, even if he argues in the heat of a quarrel the exact opposite.
• Не стремитесь быть идеальными родителями, это отнимает слишком много энергии и не дает принять нужное решение.
• Дайте ребенку возможность иметь собственное мнение, пусть оно и не совпадает с вашим видением ситуации.