I always assumed that, as my daughter got older, she would want to spend more time with her friends and by herself and less time with her parents. That’s what is supposed to happen during the teen years, right? Apparently not. Maybe you will find some positive parenting tips through the experience with our daughter.
The other day, my daughter emotionally expressed how she had missed spending time with me. Since I work from home and she has her homeschool studies, we’re usually together all day every day. We eat together, talk together, and sit together as we both work on our own tasks. Something was lacking though.
We made a major change this school year. I used to be fully involved in her education from choosing the curriculum to setting the schedule. Plus, aside from the online information, I was her main teacher. Since she was going to start high school in the fall, I wanted to make sure she had the right level of academic support from experienced teachers.
So we switched my daughter to another homeschool program where she could participate in live sessions, email her teachers for help, and take responsibility of her own learning. This has worked out great for her education. What I didn’t realize was how accustomed she had become in having that 1-on-1 time together all of the time.
The Importance of Bonding with Your Teenager
When Munchkin shared her feelings, it hit me super hard. Just because she is nearing 15 years old doesn’t mean she needs me any less. In fact, during this difficult time of change and confusion, having a strong bond with us as her parents is even more important. She needs that constant reassurance that we love her and that she can feel secure when she’s with us.
How could I have not noticed that before? There were times when her friends invited her over but she didn’t want to go. She felt socially awkward and just wanted to relax with us at home. Other times she did want to spend time with friends but wouldn’t go unless I came with her. Just my presence was enough for her to open up and be comfortable with others. Even though she is physically maturing, she is still our little girl.
That day, I dropped everything and dedicated all my time to my daughter. We played video games together until the late evening hours, just her and I. The next day, our family leisurely played along the beach. She was content. Since then we have been mindful to spend some quality time with her each day sans laptops, smartphones, or other electronics (unless we’re playing them together as a family).
I am also rearranging all of my blog affairs to include my family from here on out. Travel without them is just plain work and the last thing I would want is to jeopardize the precious relationship I have with our daughter.
Positive Parenting Tips for Raising Teenagers
So if you find the teenage years to be daunting and trying, your child has those same feelings as you tenfold. Things are way harder now then when we were young. Our kids need our constant support to get through it all, hopefully as unscathed by rough experiences as possible. Stay firm as they are an adult in training and need your guidance. Yet, don’t be so hard on them that you break their spirit.
Don’t give up on them. Be patient. Listen. One day they’ll thank you for just being there for them, just like you did to your parents. After all, the best gift we can give our children is our time and our love… and that doesn’t stop even during the teenage years. More parenting tips to come as we work out the kinks of raising our daughter.