How to Be a Parent When Your Teen Doesn't Want You

Being a parent of a teen can be a challenge, especially when he or she starts to push you away. If you're struggling to be there for your teenager, here's how you can stay involved and keep him or her safe. 
Get to Know His or Her Friends
Who your teenager hangs out with is extremely important. Friends can help your child feel accepted and confident. They all spend time together and have the chance to try new things. They'll learn from each other. This means your teen's friend group is his or her biggest influence, both good and bad. Make sure you're aware of who your child spends time with. Learn their names and get to know them if you can. 
Call their parents regularly. You can work together to establish ground rules for your children and to stay informed about where they are at all times. If you talk frequently, your kids can never claim they're at the other person's house when it's not true. Plus, more adult friends gives you a support system. You can discuss parenting strategies or just compare rates for property investment. You need support as much as your kids do, whether you're chatting about real estate or adolescents. 

Respect Your Child's Privacy
If you want your teen to trust you, work hard to respect his or her privacy. You might be wondering what she's writing in her journal or what he's texting to his friends, but the second you open your child's notebook or phone, you've lost his or her trust. However, this doesn't mean that your teenager has a right to keep important information from you. 
Make it clear that you should be kept informed on important things, like his or her grades and mental health. Tell your child that you've been communicating with his teacher and the parents of his friends. Be firm but not angry. Don't waver on what you need to know and what your son or daughter can keep private. Adolescents need clear rules and the second you bend them, they will lose respect for you and your rules. 

Support Healthy Activities
Encourage your teenager to become involved in healthy activities. Drive her to soccer practice or support his decision to try out for cheerleading. Whatever your child is excited to be involved in, support that decision. Do what you can to get your son or daughter involved in a sport or after-school activity. 
Go to his or her games or competitions and make it obvious to your child that you're thrilled about the activity. A little support from you can make a huge difference and will encourage your kid to continue to make good choices. 

Get Him or Her Help When It's Needed
Everything doesn't always go right for teenagers. Sometimes they suffer from anorexia, bulimia, OCD, or other mental health disorders. Be on the lookout for warning signs that your son or daughter has a problem. You might notice a sense of hopelessness or an increase in self-destructive behaviors. Maybe your child has been diagnosed with major depressive disorder or gender dysphoria. Whatever it might be, get him or her professional help. 
A facility like Polaris Teen Residential Treatment can give your child the care he or she needs to recover from addiction or mental health problems. An experienced service provider or clinical social worker can help your son or daughter build skills and become healthier. When your teen needs assistance, be extremely supportive. Tell him that you are there to help and will always love him. Let her know that recovery is possible and you'll be there every step of the way. Getting your son or daughter help could make a huge difference.

It's difficult when your teen starts to push you away. Do what you can to be there for him or her and make it clear that your love will never go away. Your teenager will thank you for it in the end.

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