Lisa @ School Family
Hi Katja-I have a 16 year old daughter whom I feel I have a great relationship with. When she was 13 and started to, as you said, listen to the opinions of her peers more than me, I also felt a bit panicked (and sad). I think these emotions created a dynamic in our relationship for a while that was not good. I was being over bearing and distrustful and she reacted by shutting down. Once I came to terms with the fact that this is completely normal behavior and part of the growing up process I was able flip the negative energy between us. What I find works is: listening without judging and reacting, freedom with boundaries, empathizing with situations that I sometimes think are are silly but I know are very important to her, and ALWAYS making respect a top priority. She may be a teen but we never back down from disrespectful behavior. Also, do the best you can to establish routines that provide opportunities to connect and have conversations. For example, we try to always eat as a family and I still tuck my kids in. Would love to hear from other parents of teens!