Learning how to create moments to connect with your teen are vitally important to encourage a bond. A bond that continues between your teen and you, but also serves a means to learn what is happening in their world. As your child grows into this teenager stage, you will find a tweak in how they respond to you, interact with you and in turn they start to drift towards being independent. Teenagers often think the world revolves around them and that they should have a level of privacy comparable to adults. That is just not realistic. We will share with you how to connect with your teen to avoid the toddler like temper fits.
Connect With Your Teen
- Keep Advice to a Minimum – while every story your teen tells you could lead you towards a life lesson preach, stop right there! Keep your advice in regards to any story your teen tells you to a minimum, if you constantly make a life lesson out of every peer to peer story, your teen will simply give up on talking or venting to you about their peers.
- Be Available – while this can be increasingly demanding, be available for your teen at all times. If your teen is asking for your attention, give it to them or else they will find that attention in other ways (by acting out, by getting in trouble at school, hanging with the wrong crowd, etc.)
- Give Freedom of Choice – once your child is a teenager they are going to want to try to be their own person, they will have this fierce urge for independence from the way you think and this should be encouraged. Let go of what your dreams were for this child and support their individual dreams, this helps them feel confident in sharing their true thoughts with you.
- Remember Your Teen Hears Everything – be mindful of venting about your teens behavior when they are within ear shot, teens hear everything and if you want to connect with your teen then you should be expressing positives about them anytime they are within ear shot.
- Open your Home to Friends – while you may not like the crowd of friends your teen has flocked to, make sure to open your home to their friends. When you allow your home to be the meeting ground for friends of your teen, it keeps you in the loop of what’s going on between peers.
- 5:1 Ratio of Good versus Bad – teens really struggle with emotions during this developmental stage of their life – learn to follow the 5 positives for every 1 negative ratio as a means to make your teen feel confident, appreciated and in turn more connect to you as their support system.
Our job is to meet our child’s emotional needs at every developmental stage of their life, the teen years will certainly take a toll on your patience but if you get creative and dig deep for some empathy then you certainly can survive the teen years of parenthood and in turn create a connection with your teen that strengthens the bond between them and you.