Parenting My Teen

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Connecting With Your Teen

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The article is here to help parents connect better with their teens. There are time where teens can seem to be totally ignoring you and also seem as if they are closing you out of their lives so here are some tips to break down the wall and open the connection.
As the parent of a teen, you may long for the days when you could hold your child on your lap and they were eager to talk, laugh, and play with you. Those days may be long gone, but you can still find ways to connect with your teen. Here are a few tips to make process easier.

Talk About Your Past Experiences

If your teen is having a problem, they may think they are the only one in the world who has ever had that particular problem. Talk to your teen about the situations you experienced as a teen. The clothes and music may have changed, but you still dealt with peer pressure, sex, drugs, and homework. Let them know you understand and will be there for them, if they want to talk about their problem.

Express An Interest

Make time for your teen, and express an interest in what they are doing. You don’t need to use this time to lecture them, or even talk. You can simply sit and watch their favorite show or listen to their favorite band. Try not to pass judgment or criticize anything. Just make time to “hang out”. Your teen will appreciate your interest and this will help develop open lines of communication.

Let Them Know When You Are Wrong

It is hard to admit when you are wrong, especially to your children. However, admitting your mistakes, and apologizing if necessary, will strengthen your bond with your child. It will also let them know that it is okay to admit the things they have been wrong about.

Let Them Know You Love Them

They may roll their eyes and shrug whenever you say “I love you”, but they do care, and they like to hear it.

Go For A Drive

Ask your teen to take a drive with you. You don’t have to have any particular place in mind, just start driving. The simple fact that you are in the car can help open up a conversation, and since you are not looking each other in the eye, it may be easier for your teen to talk to you.

Take Turns Listening And Speaking

Make a deal with your teen that when you are having a conversation, only one person can speak at a time. If you are speaking, your teen needs to sit and listen. When it is your teen’s turn to speak, show them the same respect and listen to what they are saying.

While your goal is to have a better relationship with your teen, you still need to set boundaries and let them know that you are the parent. Teens may complain about rules, curfews, and chores, but secretly, they like the fact that you care enough to set them in the first place

Recommended Resources:

Visit Out of Control Teen to learn more about how you can help a teen that shows signs of trouble.

Visit Parenting Your Teen Program to find out what you can do to easily turn things around and start developing a more connected, Down-To-Earth, Win-Win relationship with your teen.

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