You should know how to ride a horse if you have to know how to manage a teenager. First, you have to put the reigns on, and you can’t just keep it tight, at times you have to let it lose. At the same, you can’t completely let go of the reigns. The trick is: don’t try to please them and don’t try to displease them. They are undergoing a very tough time emotionally and physically and you have to handle them very skillfully. The question is how?
#1 Give them space to share their feelings with you
There is an old saying in Sanskrit, “When your son or daughter turns sixteen, behave with them like a friend”. Don’t be their teachers, don’t tell them what to do or what not to do. Give them the space to share with you what is in their heart, and their problems. Be a friend who is at their level.
If you relate as a friend and not as a parent, they will open up to you. Then the gap gets bridged. Once the gap is bridged, love flows and communication happens. And once communication happens, virtually all the problems are solved.
#2 Share inspiring stories with them
It’s important to share with your teenager inspiring stories from time to time, without pushing them too much. It is also important to give them exposure to teenagers that have gone astray. You know, those who have gone astray are teaching you more than those who are walking straight. Tell your teenager gently, ‘See, that boy has gone through such a problem, you better be careful’.
#3 Without blaming them, make them understand
You need to be skillful when communicating with your teenager. With a lot of patience, without blaming them, make them understand. And when you need to, put your foot down and so ‘no’. It’s okay to make them upset sometime, don’t feel guilty about it. Later on, they will feel thankful towards you. They will appreciate the trouble you took by taking the blame and anger from them.
#4 Be ready to swallow the anger or frustration of your child
Mother, father and a teacher will have to swallow the anger of a child. You have to be ready to swallow their anger or frustration. Even if your child is very annoyed at you, you take it and you do what is good for them and not just what pleases them. Know that you will always find a way out!