6 Ways to Show Your Teenagers You Love Them
August 23, 2022
by mikkie mills, guest contributor
Raising children can bring the greatest joy into the lives of parents or guardians. It can also cause moments of heartache and distress. The trick is to remember that neither the highs nor lows typically last forever. Hopefully, throughout the journey, you will find more occasions to laugh than anything else. Either way, the most important accomplishment will be showing your kids you love them. Here are some tips to help you out.
1. Invest in Their Education
The most powerful tool you can give your child is an education. This does not mean you have to pump their brains full of facts and figures. Letting them know that there is more to being smart than memorizing information, is one of the first lessons you can teach them. From the terrible twos to the tumultuous teens, guide them to ask why, seek answers and believe in their ability to lead. As they face the difficulties of navigating middle and high school relationships, they will be better equipped with the 7 habits of highly effective teens and be able to make sound decisions knowing you have their backs.
2. Say Yes to Clubs and Organizations
Being involved with teams and community groups will enable young people to develop social skills that can assist them later in their work life. Besides social skills, socialization is a great means of combating mental health challenges teens might experience. Further, as members of a team or club, adolescents often participate in service programs and volunteer events. Not only does community service help neighborhoods, but it also fosters confidence and humility in those who share. By allowing your teens to sign up for extra-curriculars, you are giving them a meaningful way to explore the world and discover their potential.
3. Show Up and Believe
It does not matter how much material wealth you give someone if you are not present when it counts. Even if you don't know a thing about soccer and can't stand show tunes, sitting on the sidelines or in the audience does not go unnoticed. While they will certainly admire your work ethic and dedication to your job, kids will also recognize if you never make it to their special days. And when you get home afterward, tell them they were wonderful. If they weren't, find at least one compliment you can pass on. Arguably, the most meaningful thing you can say to your child following a game is: "I love to watch you play."
4. Listen and Pay Attention
Hearing the noise and chatter of music or friends is not the same as listening to what your teen has to say. Of course, you want them to become strong and independent, but you also need them to know you are a resource on any issue. It can be an arduous task to absorb what they are telling you, especially if it involves a topic about which you disagree. Let love be unconditional. On the other hand, do not shy away from an honest reaction when it is called for. Know the warning signs of dangerous behavior and ask for professional advice if you are out of your league.
5. Remember Discipline
As surprising as it may seem, discipline is one of the most critical must-haves in a parent-child dynamic. Not only is it necessary, but it also communicates your devotion and caring. Granted, they might not fully appreciate curfews, restrictions, and limitations at the moment, but they will later.
6. Be Consistent
With every piece of advice offered here, be consistent. Think of when you were a minor. There was enough confusion and uncertainty surrounding classmates and friends, that the last thing you needed was the hardship of having to guess what the adults around you would do next. If the rule is no more than two people in the car at a time, then that is that rule every day.
Raising kids is not for the weak of heart. If you want to show your teens that you love them, stop, look, and listen. The days will pass quickly enough, make the most of them.
Mikkie is a freelance writer from Chicago. She is also a mother of two who loves sharing her ideas on interior design, budgeting hacks, and DIY. When she's not writing, she's chasing the little ones or rock climbing at the local climbing gym.
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