by Tasneem Dhinojwala
A mother and child connection is eternal! They derive strength, power, emotional and physical support from each other. The relationship needs strengthening from time-to-time to reinstate the bond. Let’s find out what happens when your child hits the teenage mark!
It’s that magical age when your little one will step on the threshold of the journey towards adulthood. Full of challenges for both the mother and the child, the teenage years, especially the thirteenth year of the child is quite crucial. The life of a teenager changes on a daily basis. One day the interest could be in something and the next day something else. With so much exposure and constant inflow of information, the teenage years are a struggle to shape their personalities and find a firm footing on the ground, before they spread their wings and fly away into the world to make their own place.
Till now, they have been under the fold of their mother, seeking and following. But the teenage years, also the rebel stage for many children, it becomes important, to strengthen the relationship, so that they do not drift away from the mother-child bond. Here are five ways to strengthen the relationship between mother and child who is turning 13, to make the teenage years memorable and beautiful for both.
1. Listen and Encourage:
You have always listened to your little one. Good. But now is the time to listen even more, and with a lot of patience. During the pre-teen years, you could still put your weight down and have your way, but the same thing is difficult with a teenager. Since puberty is a time when they are going through a lot of physical and emotional changes, they might have a lot of questions that they might even hesitate to ask. Make them feel comfortable and let them know you are always there to listen without being judgemental. Once you have heard them out, encourage and offer solutions that make sense to them. And at times, just listen.
2. Give Freedom But With Boundaries:
This is the time when children rebel the most and feel they have the right to be free to do what they want. Give them the freedom, to spread their wings, to explore the world, to make mistakes and learn from them. But let them know in clear-cut words about their boundaries as well. They need to be taught that to exercise one’s right to freedom comes responsibility as well. If they are old enough to make decisions, then they are old enough to take up responsibilities as well. Responsibility for their actions and decisions and this is where the boundary is defined.
Most of the teenagers shy away from the physical touch of their parents, especially boys. They feel they are grown-ups now, and the hugs and the kisses are only for kids. But don’t give up on it. Don’t do it to the extent that you were doing earlier, but make it a rule like a hug before the child leaves for school or comes back from school. Even though they might not like it, but an affectionate hug from the mother is enough to soothe the inner worries of a child and will keep the bond as strong as ever.
4. Be Interested in Their Interest:
It is not necessary your child will like the same things as you. Don’t heap your hopes and aspirations on them. Let them feel an individual in their own right. Be interested in what interests them. Find out and learn about it if you don’t know. The genuine interest shown by parents is a great morale booster for kids.
5. Set An Example:
Whatever you do or say, your child is watching you. Subconsciously they get the idea of right and wrong from what they see at home. Of course, you are not perfect and you can make mistakes. But communicate this to your child as well. Whatever you don’t want your child to do, see that you are not doing it yourself. And the same goes for what you want your child to do. Be the role model for your children to learn from.
The teen years are a beautiful period of any child’s life. Let this be a beautiful journey where you are there for them and enjoy it together.
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