Today’s world is moving at a super-sonic speed, where days turn into weeks, and weeks turn into years with a click of a button. Long gone are the days where stay-at-home mothers were a norm, not a special occasion. According to the U.S. Census, in 2010 nearly 65% of families had both parents in labor force. Add to this a teen-peer connectivity, which happens primarily through technology, and that intensifies parents’ failed attempts to try and reach out to teens and pull them out of constantly changing social media worlds. Yet, research shows that teens who have a strong bond with their parents have better emotional disposition, better grades, and are less likely to make poor choices. Staying connected is crucial!
These strategies will help:
Teens often send mixed signals due to an emotional overload, so their, “Leave me alone!” can mean the exact opposite. They still like you, but they often cannot deal with a situation the right way.
Many parents are masters of “I love you, but…” talks. Don’t mix praise and punishment, at least not in the same sentence. It confuses a teen and prompts him/her to shut down.
Don’t just fall back on the standard, “How was school today?” interview. Most teens aren’t thrilled with the subject and can read into your “check mark” attempt fairly quickly. Share things happening in your life: your struggles at work or growth within your business!
Don’t connect with your teen if you had a bad day, if your emotions are running high on a negative side, or if you are under time pressure. Your moments with them are few and far between, and the last thing you need is to cut them off when they decide to finally take a chance and open up with you.
Find 1 point of interest and work from there!
Teen years are often the hardest for teens and parents likewise. Quite often both parties feel that they have nothing in common and make no effort to fix the situation. Take the first step – look for that one meaningful thing for your teen and learn about it. Yes, it maybe that you need to Google a few things, like the meaning of “YOLO” or the lyrics to a K-pop band song. But having a funny conversation about it, when a teen realizes that you are sort of cool, make it all worth it.
“As we well know, a hallmark of adolescence is resistance. Just as crying exercises a baby’s lungs, resistance exercises adolescents’ abstract reasoning skills…No longer able to physically contain or comfort them, our only hope is to stay in touch…rather than trying to prevail or curtail, we need only strive for connection itself.”
-Jennifer Marshall Lippincott
Whether it’s five minutes at bedtime or washing the dishes together after dinner, make sure you have time to connect with your teen every day. If your teen is resistant to spending time with you, develop routines where you share something that your teen enjoys doing: play a game of ping pong or have a cup of tea together every night, take a walk for ice cream on Monday evenings, make brunch together or play some basketball on Sunday mornings. Notice these routines won’t guarantee close connection immediately, and aren’t designed to be an opportunity to discuss their poor behavior. These are small chances that will lead to the changes in your relationships – guaranteed!
Biggest and most repeated advice ever to give you: teens will never do what you say, they will only do what you do! This may seem obvious, but if you can make yourself turn off the news when your teen gets in the car, you’re lots more likely to make a connection with him and hear about what happened at band practice. Don’t answer that phone or read that text if you are honestly trying to connect with your teen. Especially, when you expect that same courtesy in return. Discuss this with your son/daughter so you are both clear on expectations. Don’t glance at that TV screen while you’re talking to them, justifying to yourself what a great multi-tasker you are. No one truly is. Especially when it comes to building authentic relationships. 5 minutes of quality time will beat our 20 minutes of disconnected conversations any day for your teens. There’s an art to raising a CEO teen, and you can learn more from Rising Tycoons Academy.
In his interview with Science Daily, Dr. Yanir explained, “Those who maintained distant relationship with their parents and tended to make choices out of a need to rebel against their parents’ expectations were less independent into their late 20s. “The research found that following adolescence, the familial connection is an important factor in forming one’s identity and living an independent life. It seems that not only can independence and closeness exist together, but they actually flourish together.”
Want more? Learn:
“5 Secrets of Teen Communication” Here
“6 Ways to Inspire Your Teen” Here