The teenage years are difficult for both parents and teenagers, and if there is a breakdown in the relationship, it becomes even more difficult. It is very difficult to rebuild parent teen relationships, especially if the problems that caused the relationship to break down have existed for quite some time.
Sometimes neither party to the breakdown even knows what happened; it’s almost as if they woke up one day and found that they had some serious issues with communication and the relationship in general. It’s sad enough when this happens within the bounds of marriage, but when it happens to parents and their children, it hurts even more.
The Rebuilding Process
Is there any way to even know if the damage can be repaired?
There is never a guarantee, but with persistence and hard work, the parent and teenager can work at making the relationship work. It’s no easy chore to rebuild parent teen relationships, but it’s even more difficult to think of living in turmoil for the rest of the time your teenager will be living under your roof.
Someone has to give in and call and truce because it’s impossible to parent a child who is constantly at odds with the person trying to do the parenting. Additionally, a parent should be someone that a teenager can trust to be there in time of need, but if the relationship has broken down, there is no way that is going to happen, and as a result, the teenager feels alone.
For the teenager, not being able to talk to someone about his or her problems creates havoc within him or her and can lead to either depression or aggression. Both of these should be avoided at all costs because once they start, it’s very difficult to undo the damage.
It’s much easier to rebuild parent teen relationships before the teen has completely and totally distanced himself or herself from the parental figure than afterwards when it may become necessary to enlist the help of a therapist or family counselor.
It’s much easier to not allow the relationship to break down in the first place, but this requires cooperation of both the teenager and the parent or other parental figure. It requires everyone being able to talk about the problems and not allow the lines of communication to be broken. Even more important is the teenager feeling he can depend on his parents to be there and knowing his or her parents will never lose faith.
A child, and then a teenager, learns to trust parents before anyone else, and if the parents fail to continue providing that sense of security, the teenager will lose faith in all adult authority figures. No matter how difficult it becomes, a parent should always remember that they were once teenagers also and probably did many of the same things.
Much of what may be misinterpreted as “bad” behavior is just normal teenage rebellion, a phase which will gradually fade as the teenager matures. Remembering this will help you weather many of the difficult times with your teenage.