Getting Real With Shadra Bruce
At one point in your child’s life you were the source of all knowledge, and you could not possibly be wrong. Now your child is a teenager and you could not possibly be right. How are you supposed to raise a mature teen when they are rebelling against every word you say before it has even been uttered?
Communicating effectively with your child has never been more difficult – or more important. It may seem like they are only working to irritate you, but they are simply trying to discover who they are as individuals.

Every teen has moments where they are flat out disrespectful. Your knee-jerk reaction is not always the best one, so think before you handle this monster that has suddenly appeared. The best way to teach respect is to demonstrate it. By showing your teen respect first, you will be commanding it in return without saying. You are the example to your teen and you need to practice what you preach: treat others how you would like to be treated.

It is essential that you and your teen discuss everything of importance. Nobody likes “the talk.” Not the parents and not the children. Lock the doors if you must, but you and your teen need to have open communication. If they do not hear it from you, it is guaranteed that they will hear some version of the truth from somewhere else. You want to be their main source of information, as well as their confidante when they need one.

When you do sit down to talk with your teen it does not always have to be serious either. Ask them questions about school and friends, and let them open up to you. This is a great opportunity to help advise your teen on making mature life choices.

Your teen is searching for their individuality and they are not going to find it with you holding their hand the entire way. For them to become mature adults you must be willing to let go. The best way to learn is through experience and I am sure you would rather have your teen make mistakes while you are still there as a safety net. The lessons they will learn are a valuable part of growing up. A mature teen is one who knows that while they have the power to make decisions, they are aware that every decision has a consequence.

Although your teen will never believe that you were all-knowing like they once did, they will gain a new respect for you that comes with being respected as an individual.