Less imposing and more consensus: the key to improving the relationship with adolescent children
Adolescence is a fantastic stage, full of changes and discoveries, in which our children begin to define who they are, what their convictions are and what place they want to occupy in society.
For parents, educating a teenager can be a real challenge , because in the search for their own identity our children tend to move away and seek their own space. But this does not mean that they do not need us.
It is important that parents stand behind us to help them take off , offering them the certainty that whenever they want they can come to us.
For this, it is key to forge a relationship of trust based on agreements and rules established under consensus, avoiding imposition and prohibitions .
How authoritarianism and imposition affect adolescent education
Teenagers, just like children, need limits to grow and develop safely, happily, and healthily . But as we have commented on several occasions, the type of education that parents give their children is key to their personal development.
In this sense, studies have shown that adolescents who have a close, respectful and trusting relationship with their parents are not only more empathic with their peers, but also show better emotional management . On the contrary, those who are raised by controlling and authoritarian parents can see their social and emotional development affected even in the long term.
It is true that more and more parents are aware of the importance of educating their children in a positive way , fostering a warm, close, empathetic and respectful relationship between them. However, as children enter adolescence, it is easy to fall into impositions, demands and obligations as a result of the challenges that this stage of life brings.
The way of dressing, the friends, the time to get home, the consumption of alcohol or tobacco, the first sexual relations, the involvement in housework… are common discussions in adolescence that many parents settle by imposing rules of authoritative way .
But imposition and prohibitions are not the best way to educate adolescents, for several reasons:
– To begin with, it is important to bear in mind that adolescents need to emotionally separate from their parents in order to mature. He must have the opportunity to make his own decisions , experiment, make mistakes and learn from his mistakes .
In this sense, it is normal for them to frequently show rejection towards previously established norms, especially if these are imposed by the parents.
– Prohibiting can generate the opposite effect to the desired one, because on many occasions prohibitions attract, seduce and pose a challenge, especially for adolescents who need to assert their opinion and decision-making capacity.
– But educating the adolescent based on impositions and prohibitions also negatively affects self-esteem and personality development. And it is that the fear of the consequences for not abiding by the rules can make the adolescent grow up insecure, with a lack of self-confidence, with a feeling of inferiority, fear of making decisions, withdrawal…
Why consensus improves the relationship between parents and adolescents
And it is that our children continue to need us as much or more than before. They need our advice, our guidance and our accompaniment. But they also need us to understand the reality they are experiencing, as well as their new needs and demands.
In this sense, it is essential to give them the opportunity to participate actively, autonomously and negotiated in those issues that affect them , always keeping in mind that there will be unbreakable and non-negotiable limits that they must abide by .