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Any parent of teens will tell you that getting along with their children takes a lot of love, patience, and stamina.  Teens can be very demanding, while also being less than accommodating to those around them.  It is a selfish time of life, but that doesn’t necessary make a teen a bad person. 

They are simply trying to find their way in the world and trying to develop some independence.  Rebellion is a part of this process, so a certain amount of rebellion is to be expected.  Teens have to break away from their parents to achieve their own identity. 

One of the best ways to help your teenager adapt, is to continue talking, listening, and showing love even when your child tries to push you away.  Children still want their parents love, they just don’t want anyone else to know it.  They want to be seen as adults, treated like adults, and respected.  Unfortunately, many of them have yet to learn the art of showing and earning respect, rather than demanding it. 

Another step is to try giving your teen more privacy.  This is not to say that you should stop being involved.  You still need to know where your child is, whom he or she is with, and what your child is doing.  You can offer privacy by knocking before you enter your child’s room, or helping him or her find a secret place or sanctuary.  It may be as simple as a spot in the basement that is his or her own, but that spot should be off limits to others in the home.  It needs to be a place where your teen can go to think, cry, talk on the phone, read, or just relax without being disturbed. 

Also, value what your child has to say.  Even if you don’t agree, listen.  Ask for clarification, and ask why he or she feels that way.  Don’t also jump in to solve an issue; help by allowing your child to bounce ideas off you until your son or daughter comes up with a solution on his or her own. 

Try asking specific questions.  Asking, “Why did you do that?” will probably only result in shrugging, shaking the head, or “I don’t know.”  Instead, ask things like, “Did you feel like you had to cheat on the test to get a good grade?”  Then, explain to your child why the behavior was wrong, and assure your child that you are available to help with studies.

Don’t forget to make time for your teen.  Even though your son or daughter seems to be pulling away, or doesn’t seem to want anything to do with you, he or she still needs parents’ love and attention.  Take your child shopping or out for ice cream.  Schedule a date to rent a favorite movie and make popcorn.  Ask your child what he or she would like to do together. 

The most important thing is to stay involved in your teen’s life as much as possible, while still allowing him or her to become an independent person.