Building a healthy relationship with a teenager can be challenging. Even if you get on well, there’s always the chance that a minor argument could lead to prolonged bad feelings. In the following guide, we’ll outline 5 steps to building a strong, loving, and lasting relationship with your teenage grandkid.
1. Spend time together without screens
With at least 91% of children in the UK owning a smartphone by the age of 11, you’ll also know the struggle of feeling like you’re losing your grandkids to their phone. In an increasingly difficult time, it’s more important than ever to spend meaningful time together, away from technology.
From walking around local green spaces to playing sports or even board games together, there are so many opportunities away from the screens. Take time to reconnect and make new memories as a family.
2. Understand and support their interests
Teenagers have different hobbies and interests, and sometimes these might even lead to their future career. Whether your child likes rugby, climbing, gaming, or horse-riding, it’s crucial to show an interest in their passion and actively support their participation.
If your grandkid is struggling with motivation, why not surprise them with a gift? For football fans, for example, you could buy football shirts and merchandise online to show how invested you are in their progress.
3. Be there for them
A good relationship doesn’t stop once your grandkid starts to gain more independence – but you might need to change how you do it. Even though teenagers might rebel or go through phases of seeking time away from the family, they still need you – just in different ways.
Every teenager is different, but even if yours doesn’t want to be around you at all, you can still show them your love in unobtrusive ways. Whether it’s visiting them over the weekend or just being there to listen, it’s important to be present.
4. Respect their privacy
It’s normal for young people to experience their first relationships during their teenage years. This can be hard to deal with, especially if you’ve had a close relationship until this point. The most important, try not to make the situation about you, and if you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed, it’s always worth learning how to support a teenagers through their first relationships. Knowing how to say the right thing can’t always come naturally, so don’t be hard on yourself if you make a mistake.
5. Don’t judge
Difficult times are inevitable through the teenage years. Be honest and try to trust your grandkids, as they’ll be more likely to put trust in you. Above all, you need to understand and respect each other even when tensions are high.