Sometimes it can seem that there’s a world of difference between your own experiences growing up and your child’s.
But just because you grew up in a less digital age, it doesn’t mean your experiences are completely different. It’s the way situations and discoveries make your child feel, rather than specific details that are important. In fact, quite often the emotional upheavals of growing up are similar between parent and child.
Sharing these common emotions and how you coped with them when you were your child’s age is a great way to help them build self-esteem and encourage good communication between the two of you.
Listening first, solutions second
The key to teen communication is having good listening skills. Pay attention to any worries or difficulties your child may be having without judging them or telling them how to deal with them. Putting yourself in their shoes and imagining how they’re feeling will help foster mutual understanding and create a stronger bond between you.
Dove Self-Esteem Project expert Dr Christina Berton urges parents to “remember how different situations made you feel, and give plenty of space for listening. You want to stay connected, so you need to allow your child to share their emotions with you without feeling like you’re going to judge them.”