Smothering vs Connecting

As a parent of a teenager, do you ever feel like you are losing a bit of connection with your teenager?  Feels like your son or daughter prefers time alone?

This process for your son or daughter is completely normal.  Your teen is seeking out the independence sought in the pubescent years.  If your like many parents, this change can be tough at times. You want to be “in their world” to be a positive guidance.  Remember:  you ARE in their world.  You only need to work on fitting more into their schedule.

Instead of asking a million questions all the time, give them space. Join them at more casual times. Watch their favorite TV show with them. Play a video game with him/her.  Have dinner around the kitchen table together and have a “Question of the Night.”  As corny as this concept may sound, making it a tradition turns into a simple point of conversation you are guaranteed as a family every night.  Even if someone already ate, you all sit together for those few minutes.

Are you worried you can’t find a medium your teen wants to share with you?  Then ask.  Ask your son or daughter, “What do you enjoy the 2 of us doing together?  How do YOU enjoy us spending time together?”  Listen closely. Don’t disagree.  Don’t say why their answer doesn’t work for you.  Listen and then find a solution which WILL WORK!

Being able to connect with your teen is essential to helping your teen make better life choices.  As parents, we all get frustrated and sometimes disappointed with ourselves.  As the famous 80’s song said, “RELAX.”  The more stressed you are, the more your kids feel it and are even less likely to want to share with you.  Smiling and having fun can go a long way in a home.

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