Teenagers. They’re the sometimes unfortunate result of raising a child. In all seriousness, however, the adolescent years and the ones beyond can be a difficult step for dads. Not to mention just about everyone else. It’s where people are developing and beginning to get a glimpse at the responsibilities and complications of the real world. It is a confusing and often embarrassing time, in case you can’t remember. It can test the very relationships between parent and child. That’s why you want to do your utmost to protect that relationship and even build on it. Here are just a few ways of doing that.
Getting engaged in their interests
Growing from child to teenager means that a lot of preferences begin to turn into long-term hobbies and interests. Sharing common ground with your kids is always important, even if it’s teenage fads. Naturally, taking this overboard can be mortifying for them. For example, they might be a growing pop culture fanatic. Sharing things like that with them can make it easier to maintain communication and a strong rapport. Visit Super Loot and similar sites to see the kind of things you might be able to share with them for some dad kudos points.
Involvement in education
Not every teenager will find education quite as enthralling as their own interests. That doesn’t mean you should be any less invested in it. You might not understand entirely what they’re learning at the moment, but it’s important to show an interest. School is not only a formative but a difficult time for teens. Be there to support them through it.
Of course, you need to push the boat out on some of those shared experiences. Sometimes literally. Taking trips with your family and particularly your teenage child is a great way of building shared memories. An emergent, exploratory holiday can forge some very strong memories. It gives you the chance to see all kinds of things and have little experiences along the way. Whether it’s a boat ride or a road trip, just make sure you prepare well for it. Being caught off guard will certainly make things a lot less fun.
It’s not just important to be reaching out to your kid. You also need to be prepared to listen. Clear communication is the key to any successful relationship, and that’s not just being heard. Teenagers might sometimes seem to lack the perspective that makes you so obviously right. But understanding their perspective is key to understanding them as people. To do that, you need to listen.
The mistakes they’ll make
Oh, yes, they will make mistakes. You did, too, undoubtedly. How you deal with them is the important thing. Boundaries need to exist, but you need to handle the matter of crossed boundaries well. You don’t want to put them off experiencing life for themselves or teach them to simply hide those mistakes. Be understanding, be open. Just because you’re not shouting the roof off doesn’t mean you don’t care about them.