During the early stages of a child’s life, his or her parents are the most important figures for him or her. Their love, approval, and support are critical to him or her and the latter makes effort to win his or her parents’ love. However, this bond changes when a child enters his or her teenage years. Their attitudes and behaviors undergo a sea change because of various external influences.
Teenagers require ample positive attention. They prefer to spend more time with their friends rather than their family. An emotional rift can easily form between teenagers and their parents if a deliberate effort is not made to spend time with them. It is important to remember that the quality of time spent is more important than the quantity of time spent.
“It is easy to be a good parent to a good child, but what makes a good parent, is dealing and being there for a difficult child, that is a real good parent.”
Study proves that if teens spend more time with their parents, they develop higher self-esteem and have better social skills than the ones who spend less time or no time. A 2016 study found that spending quality time with parents serve as an authentic predictor of the academic aspirations of teenagers.
Before we explore the ways in which parents/guardians can spend quality time with their teens, let us have a quick peek into the steps to spend quality time with them.
Though it is difficult for parents to divide time between their day-to-day responsibilities and the moments they spend with their teens, it is essential that parents interact with them on a regular basis.
Internet, social media, cell phones, television, and the like are highly distracting. They consume a precious part of our time. Parents should keep these distractions away and encourage their teens to do the same when interacting with them.
Going out for holidays with your teens and the planning preceding the vacation bring parents and children close. Not only this helps in overcoming boredom and fatigue, but also proves to be a great way to bond with your teen.
At times, it is important that parents get involved in the activities that their teens enjoy even if they themselves do not enjoy those. For example, it can be watching a silly romantic comedy or giggling over adolescence jokes. It may also mean playing action-filled video games or getting excited over an upcoming outdoor event.
Eating together with your teen is an amazing way to spend quality time with them. This helps your teen to vent out their day-to-day frustration, share their views, and unwind. It is a reciprocal activity as parents can let their wards know that they are always with them no matter what.
One of the best ways to spend quality time with your teen is to become a teen yourself once again. This can be done in multiple ways: engage in a hobby together, exercise or go for a walk/drive together, learn something new, discuss current events, share your adolescent fears and dreams with your teen, and so on. You may also cook/bake together.
Remember it is easy to boss your teen and judge them. But the need of the hour is not to judge them. Spending quality with your teen will ensure that tomorrow they will grow into confident, wise, and caring adults.
Benjamin Franklin rightly expressed,