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.
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.
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.