Listening to Teens
Truly listening to what teens have to say may be the most important element in relationship building. So often, teens feel unheard or dismissed. Those adults who give teens their full attention, and listen without judgment or interruption, will find that teens will seek them out.
Teens can smell a phony a mile away. While its great to show an interest in what teens are interested in, those who take it too far, and try to be someone they're not, won't fool anyone. Teens are more apt to respect adults who can relate to teens while being true to themselves.
Spending Time Together
Getting involved with teens' activities, rather than just watching or supervising from the sidelines, also helps in rapport building. Those who have the best relationships with teens are familiar with what teens like and genuinely enjoy hanging out with them.Providing Structure Parents who create atmospheres with dependable structure help teens feel safe and secure. In addition, taking the time to develop fun and appropriate activities shows teens that they are valued and worthwhile.
Recognizing Individual Strengths
Each teen is good at something, but sometimes they need help figuring out what that is. Especially for the teen who may not be good at academics or athletics (the two talents most often recognized and celebrated), an adult mentor/parent who support his/her interests and fledgling skills may make a huge impact on his life.
Helping Build Independence
As they develop, teens naturally want to take on more independence and be more responsible for themselves. Adults can support this developmental need by providing just the right amount of structure to help kids be successful, and gradually helping less and less until teens are flying solo.
Another critical element of building trust is accepting teens for who they are. Adults who are able to recognize and celebrate each teen's uniqueness will help boost confidence and self-respect.
Teens need frequent positive feedback to let them know they are on the right track. They are often full of self-doubt, but usually don't let anyone know about it. Parents who recognize and tell kids they've done a great job, had a great idea, or did an excellent job assisting with a task boost teens' confidence and encourage them to try again next time.
Teens don't always move or develop at the pace adults would prefer. Respect their timetable, and don't rush them.
Being FlexibleTeens need different things, and at different times. Be flexible in offering advice or help you're your teen is unique and has different strengths and skills.