Connecting With Teens: Do You Have What It Takes To Be a Cool Mom?

It might surprise you to learn that up to 67% of American teens actually want to spend more time with their parents. This flies in the face of conventional wisdom that teenagers are sulky, overly emotional beings who are just so misunderstood and want to be left alone by all parental units. In reality, teens want to be understood as much as they want someone who will listen to them.

If you want to find great modern methods of connecting with your teen, check out these excellent tips.

    1. Learn What They Like
      If you have ever become completely overcome with a fascination for a specific activity, you know how much you can learn about it in a very short time. Well, your teen is bound to become passionately obsessed with something eventually. Conventional wisdom say to steer into the skid, so to speak.

      If, for example, your teen gets obsessed with skateboarding, don’t try to extinguish the passion. Instead, find a way to encourage growth as a skater. One thing to keep in mind, your teen will absolutely know more about skateboarding than you, so don’t buy him a board outright because it will likely be the wrong one. In fact, 77% of skaters prefer small, non commercial brands.

      Get to know your teen’s hobby. This way you can share some common ground.

 

    1. Let Them Have Space
      You’re not going to be able to talk to your teenager about everything. Accepting that sometimes they really would not like to talk about their feelings, and knowing exactly when those times are, can be tricky. Asking them to set boundaries for you that you can agree to respect will make your job easier.

 

  1. Foster Honesty
    This is up to your discretion as a parent, but being honest with your teen can go a long way towards them being honest with you, especially when it comes to things like drug use, sex, and drinking.

    One strategy many parents use is telling their teen that if they are intoxicated at a party, but want to come home, they can call you without worrying about getting in any trouble at all. This is one way your teen will feel safe being honest with you.

All of the advice given can be summarized very well by the co-director of the Center for Parent and Teen Communication at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Kenneth Ginsberg:

“If you stay present, really believe in the kid, treat him like the expert in his life and talk at the pace he’s able to listen, then the details will work themselves out,” The Washington Post reports Ginsberg saying.

How have you tried and/or failed to connect with your teen? Let us know in the comments or on social media.

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