5 Things You Can Do to Connect with Your Teenager
When it comes to connecting with children, some relationships form more naturally than others. Many parents find it easy to connect to their kids when they’re children, but once they hit teenage years, it gets a bit more complicated.
Teenagers often want distance from their parents, making it harder to maintain a healthy relationship with your teen.
If you’ve been struggling to connect with your teenager, you aren’t alone. Many parents struggle once their kids hit the teenage years, but there are plenty of ways that you can establish a meaningful connection with your teenager.
1. Make Time for Them
Even the busiest of people can make time for the things or people that they care about — and your teenager should be a priority. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of your daily life. And your teenager is likely pretty busy too, making it easy to neglect to spend time together. However, if you want to forge a long-lasting relationship with your teen, you both need to make the time.
Spending time together doesn’t have to be complicated or intricate. By going for a walk, playing a game, or watching a TV show together, you’re making specific time to show your teen that you care. Connections take time to grow, so the more quality time you spend together, the stronger your connection will become.
2. Be Supportive
It may seem obvious that you should be supportive of your children. However, once they kid their teenage years, your kids will explore their identities more in depth. Whether it be a new band that they like or a style of clothing, your teen will experiment with their identity and forms of expression, and you should do your best to support them.
Of course, if you fear your teen is getting into dangerous activities, you should intervene. Otherwise, as long as they are enjoying expressing themselves, they’ll appreciate that they have your support.
3. Listen Instead of Talk
As a parent, you are helping guide your children through their adolescence. Naturally, you’ll be doing a lot of the talking, and your kids will do a lot of the listening. Once kids reach their teenage years, however, they begin to mature. You may find that, instead of doing the talking, you should listen to your teen a little more.
Teenage years can be hard to get through sometimes. Though your teen may not outwardly tell you, they may struggle with their self-esteem or with their friendships. Sometimes, the best thing you can do as a parent is listening to your teen instead of bombarding them with advice.
4. Find a Mutual Hobby
One of the easiest ways to bond with someone is through a shared interest. Many teenagers assume they have little in common with their parents, but this isn’t typically the case. By working together to find a mutual hobby, you can also find a new way to bond and grow your relationship.
You could try cooking together, painting, or playing a sport — whatever you both enjoy doing, you’ll enjoy doing it together even more.
5. Reassure Them
As your kids make it through their teenage years, they’ll likely second-guess themselves or doubt their abilities. As a parent, you can’t walk them through every little obstacle that pops up, but you can reassure them they will get through it. Remind them that feeling frustrated or defeated is normal, and there are ways to push through to find solutions.
Though they may act like they’ve got it all figured out, your teen still needs your help sometimes. Be there to provide it and let them know that you’ll always be there to support them. By offering your support, you’re helping seal a special bond and connection that will last well past their teenage years.