Maintaining open communication as we help our children grow and mature into adulthood in today’s mixed up and fast paced world is not an easy task, even for the most skilled at parenting. And it’s a well know fact that this is especially true when children become teenagers. This is of course the time when maintaining open communication between parent and teen becomes even more difficult but also even more necessary than ever.
Therefore, your number one job as a parent of a teenager is to do everything within your power to communicate effectively with your son your daughter the best way you can. This means you may need to seek out help from articles, books and even professionals if need be in order to accomplish this most difficult of tasks. And this is even more important if the line of communication between you and your teenager does happen to break down.
Of course parents and adolescents may go through some very rough patches especially when it comes to keeping the lines of communication open as they traverse their way through these difficult teenage years. As we all know, teens often try any way they can to make sense of the world and break away from parents in their own desperate need for independence.
But this is a very important stage in every adolescent’s development and how you and your teen deal with it will have a long lasting affect on the rest of his or her life. This is also the most confusing time of their life, and they need your help in finding their way as safe and trouble free as possible. So maintaining communication really is the key.
Now, I know parenting a teenager and maintaining open communication between parents and teens is a very serious subject but it’s sometimes helpful to take a look at things from a different perspective so I would like you to be open to this very different and unusual perspective that I’m about to present to you.
It’s been said (but by whom I really don’t know) that raising a teenager is a lot like being an Air Traffic Controller and in more ways than just the fact that both parents of teens and Air Traffic Controllers are stressed to the max and worn out completely from the exhausting job of keeping track of such an unpredictable moving target. So just take a look at the four rules presented below and you just may find that some of these rules could actually apply to both tough situations more than you might have thought possible:
1. Keep Track of Your Precious Cargo
It’s vitally important to keep the airplane/your teen on the radar screen at all times. Just imagine what could happen if you lose sight of that precious cargo. So remember, you cannot lose track of the direction in which your child is moving no matter how exhausting it may be for you to keep up with them. You do not want to be overbearing especially to the point of pushing them further away from you, but at the same time you want to make sure you are keeping good tabs on their social life, academics, extra curricular activities, computer habits and their behavioral patterns. It definitely is a fine line but one worth working towards.
2. Fix the Problems
If something is wrong with the airplane/your teen, then it is your duty to bring the flight in as soon as possible to fix the problem. If your adolescent appears to be having problems, don’t just assume that it will go away on it’s own. You must at all times know how to maintain a line of open communication well enough so that your child will realize that he/she can always come to mom or dad whenever problem comes up.
3. Tough Out the Turbulence
When the plane/your teen hits turbulence and things get really rough, you cannot leave your post just because you don’t like the situation. Like I said earlier, your teen needs you to stay strong and tough it out. They really are depending on you even though they would never admit it. If there is a major problem and the issue is giving both you and your child a rough time, your duty as a parent is to stick it out, get outside help if necessary and be there for them no matter what, regardless of the pain you may be going through in order to help them.
4. Re-establish Lost Communication
The biggest danger you have to face is losing communication with the airplane/your teen on your radar screen. In other words, in addition to doing all you can to maintain open communication with your teen, you must also do everything possible to re-establish that communication should it become lost or broken.
Keep things in perspective and remember there is no need to tough it out alone. Why even Air Traffic Controller reach out for help when on overload.