As your child becomes a teenager, you’ll notice that they will change a lot. They may not want to spend as much time with you as they did when they were little and they’ll want to experience the world without you. This doesn’t mean that your relationship with them has to suffer; there are plenty of ways that you can reconnect with them. Read on for 5 tips on how you can connect with your teenager.
Listen to Them
Stop what you’re doing and listen to what they have to say. A lot of parents miss out on the important things by not actually hearing them. By listening to them, you can get to know them better. It’s important to show an interest in your teen, and you should let them know that they can come to you to talk about anything, from having trouble at school to relationship troubles, even having a casual conversation, there will be some topics you won’t agree on, but you should be open minded when they come to you, and try to see things from their perspective. They need to know that you will be understanding and that they can rely on your support, without you chastising them or saying “no” straight away. Don’t push them to talk if they don’t want to. You’ll often end up with a response like “I don’t know” or “I don’t want to talk about it”. If you let them come to you on their own terms, they’ll be more likely to open up to you.
Do Family Activities
Set aside some time to do a family activity that interests them. Let them pick what they want to do and through in a few of your own suggestions to see if you can find some common ground and do something that you’ll all enjoy. This will allow you to spend some time with them in a casual setting, so you can have fun. Having a family ritual can bring you closer together. A family activity can be anything, from going out for dinner every few weeks, a movie and pizza night, or trying out a new hobby. You can also go for something unusual like visiting an escape room at Exit Lab Houston. If you find something you can all do together, then you’ll need the right gear, for example if you all like taking family hiking trips then you should get everyone a pair of hiking boots, or if you’re into certain sports, look into getting a crossbow package. Make sure these days aren’t set in stone so they feel pressured in to participating. Be flexible with it. If they’d rather hang out with friends, then reschedule your family bonding activity to a time that works for everyone.
Try doing something fun that’s related to your teen’s interest. For example, if they love science and technology, do one of these hands-on STEM projects together. You could build robots, electronics, or software with your teen. Sharing their interest or passion can work wonders in building your bond with your children.
Give Them Privacy
As your child gets older, they’re going to want more space, and you’ll need to respect their privacy. You’ll need to understand that there will be parts of their life that you won’t be privy to. If you overprotect your teen, they’ll just pull away and become more distant. This doesn’t mean that you should let them run wild, but you need to trust them to make their own decisions, even if they make a few mistakes along the way. Your teen will need more freedom as they get older to develop their own identity and they have to learn to experience things on their own. If you’re worrying about them or feeling the urge to get involved in their personal life, then distract yourself with some work. Write some onsite content for your business or check out this website for some rebranding tips.
Be Supportive of Their Friendships
Friendships are an important part of growing up, and you need to be supportive of your teen’s friendships. Welcome their friends into your home for dinner or a sleepover, that way you can keep an eye on them and know that they have a safe environment to hang around in. This will also help your teen to feel comfortable with spending time around you. You should also offer to pick them up from and drop them off to their friend’s house, so they know they can rely on you to be there for them. By getting to know your child’s friends, you can learn more about them and the things they like. And while there will be times when they make friends that they don’t like, but trying to force your child to stop seeing that friend will often draw them to them. If you get to know your teens friends. Through getting to know your teens friends, you can at least monitor them and talk to your teen about any toxic relationships.
Invite Them into Your World
Your relationship with your teen is important, but it’s difficult for your teen to open up to you when they don’t know anything about you. Let them get to know you outside of being a parent. Share your hobbies and work with them, but don’t push it on them. If they’re not into it, find another common interest. Show them that your only human and that you can make mistakes to. Talk to them about what being a teenage was like for you and show that you can relate to some of the things they’re going through. If you’re having a particularly hard time, for example if you’re in the middle of moving, then tell them about it and help them to learn more about what you’re going through.
By following these tips, you can build a stronger connection with your teenager. Not all teens are the same, so you’ll have to figure out what works for them and start from there. Remember that while they’re becoming more independent, they’re still going to rely on your love and support.
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