You were confident parent until recently. And then all of a sudden, you feel like you are losing it. Your baby girl is growing up. She is a teenager now. And teenagers are rebels. You know that, right?
Dear parent, it’s time for an overhaul. You’ve got to be a friend now – a friend she completely trusts, a friend she’d run to advice without the fear of being judged and a friend she is not afraid to share her rebellious thoughts and strange emotions with.
1. Let her fly, don’t clip her wings
Be consistent in your behavior. Over a period of time, the trust can be traded for the amount of freedom you are willing to give.
2. Listen more and do not judge when she acts crazy
Start by promising to be honest, and ask her to play no games.
3. Make a conscious effort to never breach the circle of trust
If she trusts you completely as a friend, she will run to you when she is in trouble. That been said, she will not be inclined to find solace in things you deem unfit for her, including alcohol and drugs.
4. Start treating her like a grown up; she will like it
She is not a little kid anymore. But she isn’t an adult either. So, strike the right balance. Talk to her like an adult but help her learn as if she were still a kid.
5. When she’s talking to you, drop all distractions; FOCUS
She is at a stage where she wants to be taken seriously.
6. Ask the right questions but stop being an interrogator now
Eradicate the fear from your relationship. Keep the line communication open at all times.
7. Abandon – ‘I told you so’, from your dictionary forever
Encourage her to take mistakes as a learning experience. Tell her about your experiences as a young girl. Built rapport instead of pin-pointing her mistakes or worse, cursing her for doing something wrong.
8. Lay out the pro-cons in front of her and let her take her decision
She’s going to have crushes or may also fall in love anytime soon. Don’t freak out.
9. She needs guidelines now; the age of rules is gone
When the input is hers, she will have no trouble in following them.
10. Plan exciting hang-outs with her; let go of routine activity
Surprise her. She’d like that. How about a cup of coffee at a café or may be a pizza treat for no reason!
11. Make your home as the den for her friends to hang out
Call them home, so that she is close to you. Also, get to know her friends better.
12. You never know when the hormones will kick; be there for her 24x7x365
13. Share your teen stories with her
Make her believe that you really understand what she is going through.
14. Respect your spouse and set a good example
Unconsciously, she will copy your every move.
15. Gossiping can be very healthy
Don’t turn a leaf overnight. Talk to her from day one.
16. Try to strike a balance between being a parent and a friend
She needs wisdom and guidance too.