During adolescence, teens may rebel, fight, and pull away from their parents. They may find that it’s difficult to relate to their parents and a parent-child relationship that was once full of love is now full of strife and stress.
If this is the case, you may want to put your attention on how to deepen and strengthen the relationship you have with your teen. You may want to think about how to create an experience so that the two of you feel close.
Here are suggestions for lightening the parent-teen relationship:
- Laugh Together: Use humor, if you can, to shift your reaction to stress from anger to absurdity. Search for something that gets the funny bone moving among everyone in the family. Laughter can actually boost the immune system, and create immediate physiological changes that shift perception and your view on the situation. Everyone in the family might have a family talk and discuss their responsibilities in a lighthearted way. When discussing work and school life, parents and children might look for what is practical or inspiring. For instance, doing well will keep your grades up, boost your chances of getting into college, keep you on the swim team, and help you reach your professional goals. Parents, work helps keep food on the table, a roof over the family, and vacations to spend time together. See if you can find the sunny side to your circumstances
- Relax Together: Relaxation can create a psychological state that can invite solutions you might not have otherwise thought of. When the mind and body are relaxed, your inner resources are more easily accessible. In this state, you might see your situation differently. An answer to your problem might come forward or an insight might arise that allows you to see a stressful situation differently. As a family, you might participate in a relaxation technique together, and you might even do this on a regular basis. Finding ways to relax together can create experience of peace, enjoyment, and connection that might be otherwise hard to experience in your parent-teen relationship.
- Rely on Your Spirituality Together: A belief in a higher power can be a great comfort when stressed, especially when a spiritual experience is shared among family members. In whatever way that feels comfortable, reaching out to a higher power can provide a sense of relief and consolation. And doing this activity together might bring you and your teen a sense of meaning and purpose.
- Have Fun Together: We all need to stop the busy pace of life and have some fun. And this is especially true if you want to ease the tension in your relationship with your teen. It’s easy to forget to have fun when there’s so much to do, but if you make time for fun on a regular basis, you may find that you and your teen are enjoying life more often. You might go camping together, go for a long drive together, be creative, go to a sporting event, or cook together.
These are tips for lightening the parent-teen relationship. It’s not always going to be easy. But if you continue to work on having a healthy relationship, those stressful moments won’t feel as jarring to your relationship.