How to Talk to Your Child at Every Age (Part 2: 9 – 18 years old)
We believe that strong and happy relationships inside the family are the foundation of a child’s development. So we’d like being continue to share some tips that will help parents to successfully communicate with their kid at any age. If you haven’t read part 1, please click here.
9-11 years old: Show that you see them as mature people and be respectful.
Preteens may act like they don’t need help from their parents anymore. They seek more privacy and often confide in their peers, instead of their parents. They need more personal space and may start pushing boundaries. Your kid may not be the cute little angel that they were a year ago and now they may show some resentment toward your rules.
But the funny thing is that children at this time still need you the most, even if they don’t realize it. They’ll go into adolescence in a couple of years and they’ll need all your love and support during this turbulent period that is full of drama and crazy hormones.
What parents should do:
- Try to find a common interest that may help you connect. Don’t try to forcea conversation and bombard your kid with questions about their day at school. Pick a topic they’re genuinely interested in and just listen.
- Find a way to do some fun activities together. Don’t insist on spending time together just because you have to do it as a family. Instead, try to truly connect to your child and spend quality time together that will bring pleasure to both of you.
- Show that you’ll love them no matter what. Even if your child acts like they’re the most independent person in the whole world, they still need to know that you’ll have their back and that they can trust you and rely on your unconditional love.
12-18 years old: Value their privacy by showing your trust and actively engaging in the conversation.
The teenage years can be one of the most exciting, yet scary periods in the relationship between children and parents. Kids start to think that they’re already grown up and crave independence. They start to make their own decisions, but in comparison with their preteen years, these decisions may have a real impact on their future life.
Teenagers usually don’t know how to manage their emotions. They are more likely to act without thinking first and make impulsive decisions that they may regret. Teenagers are still learning about their personality and pushing their boundaries, taking many of their actions to the extreme.
What parents should do:
- Acknowledge their feelings and support them, even if the problem seems minor to you. Show that you understand them and that dealing with high school drama may be as challenging as with a failed test. Praise your children for their successes and tell how much you love them.
- Don’t try to control your kids all the time. Children can quickly become pretty good at lying and hiding information, so they’re likely to find a way to break your rules if they really want to. Your job is to create a safe space and show to your kid that the rules exist not because “you said so,” but because it’s for their own benefit.
- Don’t take your child’s actions and words personally. When your child ignores you or throws a tantrum, they are trying to dominate you and show you who the boss is now. Don’t fall for this trick and stay adult in this situation by controlling yourself and looking for ways to reconnect with your kid.
What hacks do you use when you communicate with your child? Has your relationship ever gone through a rough phase? How did you manage to fix it?