5 Tips On How To Stay Connected With Your Teen
The eye-rolling, sarcasm and door slamming – ah, the joys of the teenager years! As your child morphs from sweet, loving child to an all knowing, independent teenager – prepare for dramatic shifts in personality, mood, and relationships. While it may seem easier to check out of the parenting game during this time, experts agree that it’s crucial to hang in there. Read on for five tips on how to stay connected to your teen – while maintaining your sanity!
Check In Daily
Take 15 minutes in the morning to casually talk with your teen about their upcoming day. From school projects to weekend plans – a daily ‘checking in’ routine keeps you up to date with their world and lets them know you take an interest in their life.
Welcome Their Friends
There’s a huge benefit to making your house into your teen’s favorite hangout: you always know where your child is and what he and his friends are doing. Just make sure to impose limits on the number of kids allowed at any given time, the frequency of gatherings, and on the time these gatherings have to wind down.
This tried and true family ritual reaps major rewards. Make dinnertime a ‘no phone zone’ for all and liven up the conversation with a variety of topics – from the latest celeb gossip to politics and world events. Keep your teen invested by making their favorite meal once a week – they may even want to help cook once in a while!
Hit The Mall
No, we’re not suggesting that you can buy their happiness, but it never hurts to treat them to something special here and there. Set a spending limit and focus on learning their current interests while cruising the mall. You may be surprised that an unexpected bond can happen while trying on clothes together or grabbing a churro at the food court.
Don’t Take It Personal!
Your teenager screams – I hate you! – how do we not take this personally?! Please don’t reach for your chancla yet. Remember this isn’t (always) about you. They are in a battle of tangled up emotions and feelings and an ability to express themselves calmly. Taking it personally will most likely make you lash out, which just worsens a tough situation. Stay calm while maintaining respectful limits.