How to Connect with Your Teenager

How to Connect with Your Teenager

What did you do in school today?”

“Nothing.”

The automatic response of a teenager. Perhaps the most frustrating and confusing part of parenting a soon-to-be adult is how to connect on a daily basis. We want to help our children navigate life’s challenges, but how can we help if we don’t know what is going on? Here are three tips to maintain the connection with your child during the teenage years:

  1. Slow Down.
    With daily responsibilities pulling us in a million different directions, it can be easy to nonchalantly ask about your teen’s day while getting out of the car or thumbing through the mail. Taking time to approach your teen in a calm setting after you’ve both settled in for the evening can allow for deeper dialogue and provide you with greater insight into his or her day.
  2. Be Present.
    Technology improves our lives in many ways, but it can also create a giant barrier between us and those we love. Being conscious of our use of phones, tablets, laptops, and television during family time is important. Having a designated tech-free time can provide opportunities for quality discussions.
  3. Don’t Give Up.
    Teenagers can be frustrating, unpredictable creatures. They are trying to figure out where they belong in the world. Some days they want our guidance and other days they want us to disappear. That is OK! Don’t give up! Our children recognize our effort and appreciate our support even if they don’t show it. You are having a positive impact on your child every day.

Teens are tough, we know! Don’t be discouraged. Repeat these three tips on a regular basis and continue to do so as your teen moves through school. Your teen needs your support and steadfastness, don’t forget that. Before you know it, it will become a habit to cycle through these steps and you and your teen will have made more progress than you think. So, try again. Ask the question: “What did you do in school today?”

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