Step 1: Insist on a relationship.
According to a report by the U.S. Surgeon General, "one in ten children suffer from mental disorders". The disorders can be as simple as depression or as complex as schizophrenia. Unfortunately, only one in three children will seek help for his/her condition. Although maintaining a relationship with your teenager will be difficult at times, make sure he/she knows that you are always there for him/her.
Step 2: Devote time for your teenager.
Teenagers occasionally have a need for your attention. Schedule time together with your teenager and engage in an activity of his/her choice. Spending time with your teenager will make him/her feel important and will give you an opportunity to talk to him/her about personal issues.
Step 3: Foster an open communication.
Regardless of whether or not your teenager is willing to talk to you about personal issues, you should consistently ask about it. Let your teenager know that you are there for him/her and are willing to talk about anything.
Step 4: Set your standards for communication.
Tell your teenager that he/she can talk to you about anything. Ensure that all your conversations will remain between the two of you. However, make it clear that you are not willing to keep secrets that involve him/her putting him/herself in danger or endangering others.
Step 5: A promise is a promise.
If you tell your teenager that you are going to do something, do it. Nothing damages your teenager's relationship with you more than lying or not adhering to promises. Always do what you say.
Step 6: Phrase your advices in a positive manner.
Rather than using negatives when offering advice (i.e. do not..., you must never..., etc.), use positives (for example, make sure that..., remember to..., you must..., etc.).
Step 7: Answer the "Why".
One of the most important aspects of communication with your teenager is explaining why you are doing something, or why you are offering advice, or why it seems like a good idea to do/not do something. Explaining why will make your teenager understand the situation, rather than just unemotionally follow your instructions.
Step 8: Be honest.
Lying to a teenager in order to affect his/her decision making and behaviour is not only dangerous for your relationship, it is also unfair. Tell your teenager the truth and help him/her make responsible decisions.
Step 9: Accept failure.
While you are expressing your disappointment over your teenager's mistakes, remember to show him/her that you still love him/her and support him/her. Make your teenager understand the consequences of his/her decisions and actions. Punishment without regarding his/her emotional side will rattle your teenager's relationship with you.
Step 10: Show your teenager love.
Your teenager must have a sense that he/she is loved. Tell him/her that you love him/her often. Show him/her that you care by staying true to your word, spending time with him/her, openly talking to him/her, etc. Always let him/her know that you are available to him/her.