Sunday 28 December 2014

My teenage son hates me. What did I do wrong?

My son is 15 and we always had a special relationship. We were very close. When he got in from school he couldn't wait to tell me about his day -- he always wanted to show me his work from school. He would sit and talk to me about his friends and we would do lots together -- swimming, bowling. It was really lovely.

Being a parent, grandparent, or foster parent of a teen is challenging. Suddenly you have to deal with an argumentative and rebellious young person. You find yourself asking what you did wrong, where did your sweet baby go, and where did this hostile teenager come from?

Once our children reach adolescence their bodies begin to change, signalling the beginning of adulthood. Teenagers begin to reject all the things that relate to their childhood and being a child. They no longer want parents to do or decide things for them. They stop following parents' advice because in their minds that would be the same as still being a child.

The problem is that they don't know how to act in order to be treated like a person and not like a child.

Your child is working on creating his own personality with his individual opinions, ideas and experiences. He has started to take baby-steps towards living an independent life. It is a new situation for all involved.

Clashes are often common between teens and parents. Teens get angry because they feel their parents don't respect them, and parents get angry because they aren't used to not being in control.


Between the ages of 13 and 18, your teenager will transform from a child who followed your lead and had everything done for him to a young adult, ready to take on life.

During the teenage years parents have a unique opportunity to watch their children transform from a child to an independent young adult. But these times can be quite a rollercoaster.

Teens who deal best with their problems and moods most often have parents who take time to listen and talk, parents who respect them and who are respected in return.

It is important to find time to listen to your teen and understand what they are going through. It may be when he comes in from school or when you are dropping him to his training.

Family mealtimes are vital opportunities for families to communicate. Encourage your child to discuss important issues, listen to his views.

If you don't sit down at present for meal times together I would highly recommend trying to put this process in place. It is a vital link in the family especially when communication breaks down. It is important to remember that every teenager is a unique individual and to avoid comparing them to their siblings or peers.

During a teen's adolescent years parents will find that they need to adjust their parenting style from one of total authority to a supportive, coaching style.

As your child gets more mature, an open relationship will develop, but having a friendly relationship with your teen does not make you their friend either. when it comes down to it, parents still make the final decisions -- friends don't.

Better communication

  • Don't interrupt, allow them to give their opinion.

    Irish Independent

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