One of the keys to maintaining a positive and influential relationship with your teenager (or any other person for that matter) is to be aware of and address a wounded spirit. The Bible tells us that a wounded spirit is hard to bear, that strife can separate friends, and that offenses bring with them a hardness of heart. If an offense in our home occurs, just imagine all the damage that can be done.
In many homes, parents and their teenagers may not experience a close relationship in part because of an offense that created an injured spirit, which in turn creates distance. Most of us understand that dynamic in our marital relationships; hurt results in distance and loss of closeness. The problem with teens is that they often do not articulate their hurt. They often just keep it inside and little by little allow their hearts to be moved far away from our own, until one day rebellion, resentment, or indifference has taken hold.
The answer to this dilemma is simple but not always easy. When you know your child has a wounded spirit because of something you have done; discuss it, address it, and if necessary apologize for your part in their hurt. Too often pride and fear keep parents from being real and asking for forgiveness for poor choices or attitudes. Your esteem in their eyes will only increase if you admit it when you are wrong.
If the offense comes because they simply did not get their way and you know your decisions and reactions are appropriate; then hold your ground with kindness and explanation. Give them extra attention and keep the ropes of relationship tight. Do something together to bridge the gap and things will turn out okay. Frequent talks and a little probing will help you know if an offense has occurred and your child has a wounded spirit. If you discover one, deal with it quickly and you will keep the heart of your teen.