Ever feel like there’s something dividing you and your teenage kid? If you’re beginning to question your kid’s fashion sense, choice of music, and you don’t understand a word even when you’re speaking the same language – then your relationship might be plagued by a disease (don’t worry, it’s curable) called the Great Generation Gap.
But fret not, here are a few ways to keep your parent-child relationship in the pink of health!
Show Interest in Getting to Know Them
There’s no better way to learn about things that define your kids’ generation than through frequent direct communication. Make it a point to ask them about their social interactions and latest interests – from the newest gadget, newly released movies and popular musicians to the most up-to-date fashion trends.
Understanding their preferences will put you on the same wavelength and show them that you’re interested in getting to know them! You may even pick up some teenage slang in your conversations and learn to speak their language!
Get to Know Their Friends
Another way to truly know your teen is by making an honest effort to meet their friends. They say a person is the average of the five people they spend the most time with, so make it a goal to be able to name and interact regularly with five of your teen’s best friends. These are most likely the people who will accompany your child through their darkest and brightest moments.
Having a good relationship with them means having a third-degree good connection with your teen. Be open to letting them hold gatherings and game nights at your place. Your home will become a safe place for them to chill out in – it’s a win-win!
Don’t Compare Your Experience with Theirs
It might feel like your teenhood wasn’t that long ago. But it’s important to realise and accept that times have changed, and experiences from your own formative years may not be the same for your teens now.
Avoid saying phrases like, “When I was your age” or “That’s not how we used to do it.” The past was different but it’s not better. Comparing your experiences with your kids’ will only make it seem like a competition and widen your communication gap!
Engage In An Activity They Enjoy – Together
This is a great way to show your teen that you’re there to support them in a non-judging manner. Through spending time together engaging in their favourite activity, you provide undivided attention and time to nourish your relationship. This lets them know that you are always there for them to share their thoughts and feelings with.
Bridging the teen-parent gap is not that difficult if you’re willing to put aside an authoritative front, keep your heart and mind open, and be proactive in your interactions. It’s also okay if you cannot understand or fully grasp what your teen is going through sometimes!
Instead of pushing them or trying too hard to be on the same page, consider taking a step back and giving your teen some space. Just like any other relationship, it’s always a give and take!
When you take heed of the above behavioural prescription, the Great Generation Gap will merely be a small ailment that will have no bearing on your relationship’s long-term health.