As your little darlings grow older and you find that they are not so little anymore with developing attitudes and opinions, it can be difficult to stay so involved in their lives. As they pull away and yearn for a little more freedom, you might be eager to drag them back and keep them coddled and protected. It is challenging to find the balance between giving them some more freedom and responsibility and staying involved in their lives. You don’t want to relinquish the parental cord just yet, but you also don’t want to push them into a rebellion through being too suffocating.
You need to empathize with your offspring. Remember when you were a teenager finding your way in the world. You wanted to stay out later, head to parties, push the boundaries, and go your own way a little. You didn’t want to spend so much time with your mom and dad, your bedroom was a haven of privacy, and you didn’t want to be at your parents beck and call. At the same time, you still appreciated your mom and dad and knew that they were there when you needed them. Only now do you understand just how difficult it must have been for your parents as you began to grow up and flourish into a young adult. If you are still keen to be involved in your kids’ lives, you need to do so in a sensible and measured way that doesn’t pose a threat to their newfound independence.
Have A Routine
There’s nothing worse for a teenager than being bombarded with questions wherever they attempt to venture out of the house alone. Where are you going? When will you be home? Have you got your phone with you? Who will you be with? These can appear threatening. You need to trust your child to make the right decisions if they ever find themselves in a tricky situation. As they grow up, they will make mistakes, but they will also learn from them.
If you want to have some quality time with your not so little darlings, schedule it in. Your child will still be keen to spend time with you, just not every second of every day. Ask when they are free to go on a shopping trip, to attend an event, or to venture out for a meal. Remember, your child loves you and wants to spend quality time with you. Make time once or twice a week and learn to let go a little. Talk about what they have been up to and share some of your own news. Your relationship will morph and develop in a wonderful way.
Support Their Hobbies
If your child is keen on playing sports, support them in their efforts. It doesn’t matter that they might not go professional or that they are playing football or baseball for a hobby, you need to be there and gee them up when they venture to matches. Ensure that you help them search for a club with great coaches to help them reach their full potential. Being part of a sports team can teach resilience, sharing, team working skills, strategic thinking, and leadership as well as keeping your cherubs fit, healthy and away from the video games screen.
Sports are a great outlet for frustrations and can be beneficial for mental health. If you are keen on becoming a more supportive parent, being on the sidelines and cheering your child on will be a great way to spend quality time with your little darling and being more involved with your child’s life.
One of the things that tends to erode as your children grow up is the ability to eat together. This central action that you need to do every day should be kept as consistent as possible. It can be tough when your child is busy with school clubs, sports clubs, seeing friends, and wanting to spend time on their own in their room. At the very least, you should aim to eat the evening meal together as a family around a table. This should be the time where you can eat the same food and chat about news and developments in everyone’s lives. Don’t make it all about your child and turn it into an interrogation. You can even talk about things other than your kids! How about chatting about the news, politics, sports or what’s been going on with the neighbors’ down the street.
You might even want to go one step further and cook together. If your child enjoys spending time in the kitchen and has some culinary flair, you can enjoy rustling up a one pot meal for the family to enjoy. These simple moments spent together should be a wonderful way of reconnecting and being involved in your childrens lives.
It can be challenging to spend time with your child and be evolved in their life if you are never present. You need to take some responsibility and ensure that your work or social life doesn’t encroach on your ability to spend time with your child. Think about cutting or adapting your hours so that you are always at home when your child returns home from school. This consistency can help to support your child especially if they are having a particularly tough time. Friendship issues, bullying or peer pressure can rear their ugly heads as your child becomes a teenager.
Being there means that you are physically present to listen to problems, be the shoulder to cry on, and to support. You don’t want your brood bottling up feelings and feeling isolated. Don’t afraid to ask questions, but ease off if you sense tension. Offer up your own experiences and how you overcame them if you can relate to your child’s issue. If your darling is willing to open up to you, feel a sense of pride that your connection is deeper than you may have thought. Support, listen and think of solutions together.
Being a supportive parent means being involved in your child’s life. But, it also means giving them the freedom they desire as they grow up. Find the right balance and you can maintain a healthy relationship with your children.