Any adult should be an expert in teenage help. After all, they have survived this difficult and awkward stage in life. Unfortunately, many grown ups struggle to build a better relationship with adolescents. Whether you hope to relate better to your own kids or create more patience with young people in general, there are several simple ways to accomplish this goal.
Let Go Of Your Past
We all have a tendency to project onto other people based on our own experiences and perceptions. If you either hated or loved your adolescence you may assume teenagers you deal with are encountering the same circumstances as you. Don’t confuse “similar” and “same.” Every human being is autonomous and develops his own understanding of the world. It is a mistake to assume anyone, much less an angst ridden teenager, will follow your advice simply because you are an adult. You may achieve temporary compliance but this may be at the expense of forming a real and lasting relationship. Any opportunity to offer advice should come with the permission of the receiver. Just as you built character and learned through successes and failures, so will the teenager in your life.
Don’t Take It Personally
A part of growing up is pushing the buttons of those who have power. It is a right of passage. Although some of these actions may appear to be personal attacks,they are usually driven by an intrinsic desire to find one’s own place in the world. If you, as an adult, stay emotionally controlled the teenager will find you to be a stable person with whom he can build trust. By being patient you are providing a tremendous example of how to deal with challenges that inevitably arise in any relationship. If you choose to engage in pointless arguments or power struggles you send the message that you are only interested in being in control and harmony is only possible through obedience.
The effectiveness of teenage help is contingent upon significant adults being empathetic and patient. It can be extremely difficult to deal with an emotionally cumbersome, hormonally intense, and physically inelegant person. But the payoff is being able to see these young people as they truly are. Beautiful, enthusiastic, and hopeful people who see anything as being possible. Be their biggest fan and advocate by providing them with a safe environment to be exactly who they are!