Sometimes the lines of communication with teenagers aren't so clear. Most of the time it seems easier to connect with our kids via text, even when they're only a few feet away from us. During adolescence, it's important that parents work to maintain healthy relationships with their teens. Implementing some of the tips below may help strengthen the bonds
and ease the lines of communication.
Set Up Hang Sessions
Setting up monthly activities and outings with your teen can be a great way to grow your relationship. Stick to things that your kid likes. If you have a particularly crafty kid, try visiting a pottery studio or taking a painting class. Is your kid a movie buff? Check out a film of their choice and have dinner afterwards to catch up and chat. If you're not sure what your teen is interested in, ask them. If they say nothing, then this may require a little more ingenuity on your behalf. Whatever it is, it's all about making the time to hang out together. No talk about school, responsibilities, or chores. Stick to the good stuff, keep conversation light, and listen to what they say. Who knows, you might be surprised by what you hear.
Host their Friends Over
This is one slick move. Hosting a teen get-together is a great way to learn more about your kid's friends. It's also an opportunity for you to connect with their parents and form friendly relationships with your peers. Hosting the get-together at your house cements your home as a safe space for kids to relax, have fun, and enjoy time being themselves. The more time spent at your house increases your opportunity for forging a stronger bond with your own kid, maybe even some of their friends!
Plan a Vacation, or a Stay-Cation!
Take some time to get away from it all. If it's a short weekend, think about driving somewhere and exploring a new city or town. If your budget doesn't allocate for it, you can always plan a stellar
Stay-Cation. Turn your home into a spa by purchasing single sheet face masks, epsom salt and scented candles. Looking for something a little more exciting? Map out activities utilizing free events in and around your hometown and schedule them out over the weekend.
Eat Meals Together
This one is simple. Studies show that when families eat together, the more connected they feel. Meals represent warmth, safety, and abundance. Dining together helps cement these feelings within the family and helps to increase active engagement and discussion. Take this time to reflect on your day, tell a funny story, or check in on your loved ones. It's a great habit to build within the foundation of your child's day.
Create, Bake, Work!
The act of working together on a singular goal is a great opportunity to strengthen communication skills between yourself and your teen. Focusing your attention to the task at hand, and working together to accomplish said goal puts you on level playing field. The more opportunities you have for shared goals, the more likely you are to end up on the same team. Find a project that your teen would be interested in, like re-organizing their room, working on a home renovation or baking some of their favorite goodies from childhood!
At the end of the day, it doesn't really matter what you choose. The most important thing is that as parents, we are actively trying to connect with our kids, even when it feels like they want nothing to do with us. So, before you get your feelings hurt, and you shy away from your teen's passive attitude, just remember to reach out. Just because they don't like you, doesn't mean they don't love you! I'm only kidding, well, kind of.