Are you looking for reasons why your teen is pulling away? Sometimes, as parents, it is our own actions that push away our kids. If these scenarios sound familiar, there are simple changes you can make to reconnect with your teenager.
As our children grow older, the parent-child relationships that are fostered over many years are put to the test in a serious way.
Interactions with our teens and children feel like an emotional game of tug of war.
Some days you feel that you are pulling them closer to you, and other days they seem to yank themselves away.
One moment you seem to be getting along fine and dandy, and the next moment your teen or child seems to find you absolutely repulsive in every way possible.
They confide in you for some things. But just as quickly as they approached you, they shut down and retreat to their rooms.
Things are rarely static when it comes to raising older kids and teenagers.
It’s normal to feel like your child is pushing away from you. However, have you ever considered that there are some things that you, as a parent, are doing that is accidently causing your child to pull away from you?
Let’s dive into 5 reasons why your teen is pulling away.
Also read: the Top 10 Signs of a Spoiled Teen (and How to Fix it)
Why is Your Teen or Child Pulling Away
According to a recent poll, roughly 20% of younger kids and 33% of older kids said they argued “a lot” with their parents.
Also when asked if kids felt that their parents were proud of them, only 58% of older kids said yes.
There is definitely a common disconnect between parents and kids.
Luckily, when you can identify why your teen is pulling away there are simple changes you can make to help.
Here are 5 signs that you may be to blame for your detached kid or teen:
1) You Are Treating Them Like they Can’t Handle Real Topics
When older kids don’t feel trusted or respected, they naturally withdraw.
Do you shelter your kids from certain topics or situations? (these are 5 topics parents often shelter from their kids). Or do you sugar coat real life conversations in from of them?
Your kid will feel valued, mature, and responsible if you bring them into adult conversations (in reason of course). Try slowly including them in more discussions at home and trusting them with bigger decisions.
2) When my Kids are Angry I Mirror Their Behavior
Often when kids are angry, parents do 2 things.
First, they tell their kid to calm down (and we know that doesn’t work) and then they mirror their anger.
While your older child or teenager’s emotional regulation skills are sharpening, they are still learning to navigate complex situations.
If they approach you upset and you respond in anger, they will avoid you in the future.
As parents, we must remain calm and steady when our kids are upset. If your child is having a meltdown, show them that you are listening and they can count on you (even if you need to step out of the room and take a deep breath yourself)!
Related: Top Signs of Anger Issues in Teenagers to Look for
3) You are Hot and Cold with Discipline
Do you let your child watch anything they want on their device or phone – yet get upset when they forget to hang up their coats?
Or are you cool with your kids cussing, but flip out if they forget to do their homework?
These common examples of hot and cold discipline can create instability at home and an emotionally distant child.
Your kids and teens need structure and clear boundaries. Make sure you are very clear with expectations and related consequences so your teen or child knows what they can rely on.
Learn what Enmeshed Parenting is and how to avoid it.
Related: Start here if you are looking to spark motivation in a lazy child.
4) When they Make Mistakes You TELL them What They Did Wrong
When you tell your kid WHAT they did wrong, do they roll their eyes and stop listening?
Your growing child is learning and processing all different kinds of situations.
Instead of lecturing them, have an open discussion where you help them reflect on what happened. Ask questions like :
- What do you think went wrong?
- Is there a better way that could have been handled?
- If this happens again, what do you think you will do differently?
This calm behavior will encourage your child to return to you next time they have any obstacles in life.
If you want to raise kids that come to you with problems, not hide from you – start making these 5 changes.
5) You Aren’t Actively Showing Interest in Their Interests
We can’t expect our teen or child to be excited to talk to us if we don’t actively show interest in the things they love.
Is your daughter into basketball? Make sure you are in the stands and asking about her practices.
Does your son love to read? Ask about the book he is reading – or read it yourself!
When parents get involved in their teens day to day lives, it builds trust and a solid foundation.
Also, try these Deep Conversation Starters for Kids.
Final Thoughts on Why Your Teen is Pulling Away
When parents make these 5 changes, that emotional game of tug of war between a kid and parent slowly becomes more of a game of catch.
A game of catch where everyone works together with the same goal in mind. Engaging each other, enjoying time together, and cooperating.
All along avoiding that treacherous pulling away.
For more tips on raising kids who are healthy at home and strong in the world, follow us on Facebook.
Learn about the benefits of Journaling for Kids and Adults and enjoy some free printables here!