Just about all parents of teenagers will be forced to deal with a heavy heart as they deal with a teenager who seems to want nothing to do with them.
Distancing themselves from their parents is common in teens with a growing desire for independence. While you can take some heart in the fact that your teen is growing into an adult who is learning to stand on their own two feet, separation anxiety can take an emotional toll.
Here are a few tips to help you deal with the growing distance in the relationship with your teenager.
Understand That It’s Not About You
When you are attempting to spend some quality time with your teenager, only to get pushed away with some pretty hurtful comments, it can be tough not to react in an equally painful manner.
Keep in mind that your teen has been a keen observer of your behaviour for many years, so their opinions about you, however hurtful, often come from a place of truth. However, hating them or hating yourself isn’t the solution.
Instead, let them know that abusing anyone for whatever reason is unacceptable. This way, your teenager will get valuable life lessons about the correct way to deal with their feelings during a confrontation.
Keep Some Distance
A rebellious teenager can trigger parents into clamping down and becoming more controlling, but this strategy most often backfires. Teenagers pushing boundaries is a natural impulse, and when parents push back, it only adds fuel to the fire. Unless your kids are putting themselves in danger, let them explore the world without the constant presence of a hovering parent.
Always be Available
Providing teenagers with space does not mean we should ignore them completely. They are still growing and learning and need guidance and support. They may be learning independence, but even young adults need their parents. Give them some room, but make sure you will always be there to pull them back up when they need it.