Raising children up to their teenage years can be smooth sailing for a number of years, but sometimes that ease can come to an abrupt end. This may be at puberty, teenage years or even earlier. That sense of control and order you may have enjoyed is suddenly turned on its head and you are left floundering as your child develops new interests that may not include you.
Whilst it can be a quite emotional time, there are some things you can try, to help transition through a difficult period. Your child will inevitably desire more independence as he or she develops. This doesn’t mean you cannot still be an active participant in their life.
Patience and a little planning can enable the time together you may desire. When your child suddenly no longer wants to go to the movies with you, but wants to hang with their friends all the time, it can be quite a difficult situation. There are however many activities you can plan so you have time together, yet still give them the ability to develop their own independence.
Raising Children Network gives some examples of things you could try:
- Try to think of activities you have shared with your child before. If they play or used to play a sport suggest the family, or the two, of you get tickets to a game.
- Meal times are a simple time to spend time with your growing kids. They are probably hanging about hungry, so encourage them to help with the cooking. A bonus is they might like it and take over the meal preparation at times.
- Something as easy as shopping can be a great opportunity to spend time together. If they are not financially independent your teenager would most likely enjoy a shopping trip for clothes or personal items.
- As much as it might not be your cup of tea try to take an interest in your kids’ likes. This can be anything ranging from their choice of music or movies to causes they feel strongly about. Just being able to discuss one of their interests can make you feel closer.
Your kids don’t have to be strangers - make an effort and it should pay off.