Teenage years are very difficult for all parties.


Your heart goes out to them, because you remember how they're feeling but they can also be tricky to deal with.


If your teen communicates with grunts, and they seem to have a better relationship with their iPhone than with you, here are some tips which could help.



1. Keep the lines of communication open

Don't give up on a surly teen, even if they blank you or won't answer when you ask how their day went. 


If there's something on their minds, they might want to talk to a friend or sibling first. 




Don't interrogate them, as they may not always feel comfortable talking to you.


However, if you let them know they can talk to you about anything, you may find they will eventually open up.


2. Build trust

If your teen has lied to you or done something behind your back, it can be hard to trust them. 


However, if they apologise and show a genuine willingness to behave better, give them a chance. 



3. Find an activity you both enjoy

As your kids grow up, they won't want to spend as much time with you, and their interests may change, also.


Instead of dragging them to every family occasion, spend some one-on-one time with them, doing something you both enjoy.



Even if it's just taking a walk or making dinner together, these moments allow you time together.


4. Don't gang up on them

If your partner or yourself have a row with your teen, don't gang up on them. 


Phrases such as "wait until your father hears about this" can make your teen feel as though everyone is against them. 



If you're the neutral party in an argument, listen to both sides of the discussion, rather than blaming your teen straight away. 


5. Remember: you're the parent, not the best friend

It is OK impose your boundaries and rules if your teen has been behaving badly.


Whether they like it or not, you are their role model, and your reactions will set the tone for future behaviour. 




6. Listen to their teachers

Teachers often spend more time with teens than parents and, although you may think you know your teen inside-out, you don't know what they are doing or how they behave at school.


If a teacher comes to you with a concern or question about your teenager, listen to what they have to say.



It might be nothing, but it could be very important. 


7. Make their friends feel welcome

Let your teen know they can have friends over at suitable times, and get to know them.


Friendships are a teenager's support system, so even if you're not keen on their friends, try not to make a snap judgement. 



If you do have concerns about the company they keep, talk about it in a non-confrontational manner. 


8. Allow them some responsibility

Acknowledge the fact that they're becoming an adult, and reward good behaviour by allowing them some responsibility.


This could be encouraging them to get a part-time job for the summer, or teaching them to drive when they're old enough.



9. Get to know their boyfriend or girlfriend, if they have one

You may think your teen's relationship is puppy-love, but it could mean the whole world to them.


If they are willing to chat about a boyfriend/girlfriend, dating or sexuality, acknowledge this.



Acknowledge their hurt if there's a breakup, even if they were only going out for three weeks...


10. Try different ways of communication

If your teen is always on their phone, send them a text or Whatsapp when you need to check in. 


They may be embarrassed to get a call from a parent in front of their friends, sometimes.



Having said that, don't worry if they reject your Facebook friend request!