Oh, the joys of parenting teens! But they do grow up so fast, it’s over in a flash. So I’m really trying to take the time to connect with my teens. As they are getting older, into the tween and teen years, I’m always looking for ways to better engage with them. Especially in this time of smartphones and screen time, it’s even more important to have family time. Here are 3 ways I’ve found that can help to connect with your teens, supporting them through this crazy phase of life!
3 Ways to Connect With Your Teens
1. What to watch with teens.
Watching TV shows and movies with your kids can be a simple way to connect with your teens! The kind that can start a conversation that might be difficult to talk about by either you or your teen. Of course, make the decision as to what shows are in line with your values, but there are some perfect ones out there for your family. I’m part of the Netflix streamteam and I’ve loved seeing so many great options to watch with my teens, talking about all kinds of issues they might be dealing with at home or at school. This Netflix Guide below showcases some of the things teens might be dealing with and what shows might help with that issue:
2. Date night with your teen.
We try to take out our kids individually every couple of months – either with just one parent or both of us. That one-on-one time is so important with your teenager. Taking them out for a special date, or even just dinner, is a great way to have easy conversations. It’s a time when you can find out what things they like, what they don’t like, and what they are especially interested in. They feel special with all your attention and will most likely open up to you with problems they might be faced with. I’ve actually found that Saturday or Sunday brunch is the perfect time to take them out, they are hungry and brunch feels a bit more fancy!
3. Just listen.
It can be sooooo hard to do, I’m always wanting to interrupt and solve my teenager’s problems… “when I was you age…”! But if I’m quiet, it can be magical. Simple talks can turn into real heart-to-heart conversations if you’re able to listen and let them do the talking! I find my daughter will keep talking and talking (and talking) if I’m quiet and just listen! She wants to tell me things, but on her terms. She doesn’t want me asking questions and probing for answers. But she does love to chat with me, and most times, what she really wants to tell me eventually comes out!
Hopefully some of these ideas will help you connect with your teens. Good luck and Godspeed!