Parents are being offered tips to tackle their teenagers’ emotions following any Valentine’s day fallout.
Terry Charig, Relate Mid Surrey young people’s counsellor and co-author of TEENtalk parenting workshop, said: “Teenagers can feel a tremendous pressure to conform and occasions such as Valentine’s can create very difficult expectations.”
Mrs Charig has some guidelines to help parents to “tread that difficult line between being too distant and too nosey”.
1. Be emotionally available
Accept the emotion in what they say without trying to change it. Instead of trying to take away hurt or sadness, reflecting back what they say shows you understand.
2. Be one step ahead but don’t let them know it!
Listening to their conversations when you are taxiing them about can help you understand their world and influences.
3. Let them have secrets
Teenagers will have secrets – it is part of establishing their separate identity. It can be maddening but how you react shapes your relationship with them.
4. Be ready to talk
Time together with your teen can be scarce and when they need to open up may be inconvenient. But talk and accept the dinner may be late that day.
5. Don’t over react to what they do and say
Teens will test the boundaries but if you react too far and are too shocked they won’t feel they can approach you.
6. Remember they count on you to love them ‘whatever’
Teens can be clever and ‘get you where it hurts’ but they genuinely expect unconditional love. Acting out at home shows they are more secure – hang in there it will pass.
You can find out more at the TEENtalk Workshop for parents on Saturday 21 March at Relate Mid Surrey in Reigate, 9.30am-11.30am. Call 01737 245212 to book. £30 per ticket.
Young People’s Counselling and Family Counselling to explore feelings and deal with issues in confidence is available at Relate centres in Epsom & Reigate. Call 01737 245212 or visit relate-mid-surrey.co.uk to find out more.