Parenting is stressful enough and no one was prepared to juggle conference calls, daily chores and parenting quarantined kids. Neither were we prepared to help them grapple this situation and the information and emotion that has ensued. If you have antsy teenagers who prefer to live in the world of their own, it does become a tad bit difficult to understand them. However, this is an opportunity to tweak your parenting skills and build a stronger bond with your teens. Here are some key tips you can consider while dealing with teenagers during a lockdown and otherwise.
1. Share Responsibilities
While it is essential to drive kids towards being more responsible, parents oftentimes hesitate to entrust their younglings with responsibilities. Sharing small, but significant responsibilities with your kids is important and shows them that you have faith in them.
Besides, kids love it when they are bestowed with responsibility, for it gives them ownership and a sense of control. In fact, it is said that children who feel empowered are likely to be more resilient. You can start small. For instance, ask them to wash their plates, arrange their wardrobe or help you with cooking. You can even ask them to make their daily schedule and adhere to it. This way, you can keep them occupied, have them help you with daily chores and teach them something new every day.
2. Be a Loving Mentor
Sharing responsibilities may have certain outcomes, and you need to be prepared for the same. You know your child might come across obstacles when you entrust them with work they are not used to. Let them face it. Instead of correcting them right away, let them commit some mistakes and help them learn through it.
Moreover, when they know it’s an out-of-syllabus question, they will come to you. This is when you can openly communicate your thoughts. Be a kind teacher without rescuing them until absolutely necessary.
3. Take a Deep Breath
Communicating with your teens can be difficult. They have a knack of testing your patience. So, at times when you get angry, take a deep breath and count backwards from 5, before you respond. It’s okay to let them know that you are upset and would not want to discuss the matter with them right away. This not only helps you calm yourself but also allows you to set an example for your kids as to how to behave in such situations.
4. Helicopter Mode Off; Airplane Mode On
Without being a helicopter parent, you can still have kids act the way you want them to. Practise what you preach, they say. So, if you want your kids to stay away from their devices, do the same. Set an example. Take part in board games, encourage them to pursue their hobbies and hand them a pen and paper to scribble whatever they want to. It works wonders, believe us!
Communication is the key to build a stronger bond in any relationship. The same applies to parenting. You must talk to your kids about times when you faced challenges. Remind them that resilience is something that is built over time. Let them know that with each positive action they take, they are only building their resilience each day.
Lockdown or no lockdown, keeping up with our kids is a full-time job. And it is a beautiful phase. However, it is up to us how we see it. Do we see it as an opportunity to build our bonds with them? Or do we see it as a task?