Parenting teenagers can have its ups and downs

Being there for your teen and letting them know they can talk to you is one of the best ways you can support them. Make sure you have some time together when you can give them your full attention. It could be in the evening after any younger kids have gone to bed. It could be when you’re doing something else together, such as walking, cooking or driving somewhere.

The Young Minds website has some good suggestions for things you can do together that also give you a chance to talk. 

Here are our tips on building a relationship with your teenager

Listen to them. This may seem obvious, but it's important to really listen to what your teenager is saying, both verbally and nonverbally. Don't interrupt, and don't just wait for your turn to talk.

Be respectful. Even if you don't agree with your teenager, it's important to treat them with respect. This means listening to their point of view, even if you don't agree with it.

Be open-minded. Your teenager is going through a lot of changes, and they may be exploring new ideas and interests. Be open-minded to their experiences and what they're learning.

Be supportive. Let your teenager know that you're there for them, no matter what. This means being there for them when they're happy, sad, angry, or confused.

Be interested in their lives. Ask your teenager about their day, their friends, their interests, and their dreams. Show them that you're interested in what they're doing and who they're becoming.

Spend time together. This doesn't have to be anything elaborate. Just make time to do things together that you both enjoy.

Be honest with them. This means being honest about your own feelings and experiences, as well as being honest with them about your expectations.

Be patient. It takes time to build a strong relationship with your teenager. Be patient with them, and with yourself.

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