We have lots of pets in our home. This morning, I noticed our parakeet looking at ‘himself’ in a mirror in his cage. He must think it is another bird like himself because he sits there for hours singing to his ‘friend’. But the ‘other’ bird never sings back! Do you ever feel like you are ‘singing’ your values and beliefs to your teenage son or daughter and there is no response, like you are talking to yourself? On thing is true, unlike the bird in the mirror, your kids are hearing you whether or not they are living out your words or not. Continue to model for them good behavior and sing out your love to them. One day, it may a difference! In the meantime, here are some tips you can use to improve your relationship with your child:
- Give your child unconditional love and acceptance.
- Learn to listen better to your teen’s ideas, even if you don’t agree with them.
- Model good behavior to your child. Be a good example.
- Show your child that he or she has value and is important.
- Allow your child to participate in decision-making with your guidance.
- Give positive ‘strokes’ as much as possible such as compliments, hugs or pats on the back.
- Don’t just focus on bad behavior or poor performance. Look for improvement and emphasize this instead.
Remember that your words, no matter how well meant, will seldom be heard if the relationship is not there. So cultivate an atmosphere of love and trust!