Adolescence is a time of transition; a time when children embark on their journey to adulthood. During this transitional phase the relationship between parent and child begins to change as the adolescent seeks for autonomy; this process often includes pushing against family boundaries, limitations and questioning long standing morals and values.
“Adolescence is a challenging yet crucial period that both parents and youths often struggle to understand.” C. Richard Chidester
In order for children to successfully transition to adulthood they need a safe environment to “test the waters” regarding what is socially and morally acceptable behavior. This is where communication is vital to a positive relationship between parents and their emerging adult.
“It is important for parents…to understand the powerful impact praise, acceptance, and encouragement have on a child’s sense of individual worth and confidence”. Brent L. Top and Bruce A. Chadwick
Communication is more than just telling a son or daughter what he or she can or cannot do. Communication with a child or adolescent is allowing him or her to explore the family’s moral and values, societal norms, social politics, and sexual intimacy.
“Parents are the greatest influence in their child’s life, even greater than their peers.”
As parents and children embark on learning skills of active listening, validating, and honest communication, a harmonious and respectful relationship between them will emerge. Thus, communication is the key to a positive relationship for parents and children.
“Feeling acceptance and affection from parents is vital for a [youth’s] sense of acceptance”. Brent L. Top and Bruce A. Chadwick