Today – How to connect with a distant teen?
It can be very disheartening when your teenager tries to cut you out of their life, especially because poor relationships at home can have a negative effect on their growth. Many parents struggle to connect with their teenagers and some teenagers decide to minimize conversation altogether. If your teen is acting distant, or you just want to strengthen your connection, try these 5 strategies.
How to connect with a distant teen?
Create Shared Activities
Our first tip is to create bonding moments through collaboration. Studies show that one of the best ways to improve relationships is to have a shared goal and work on something together. This can manifest itself in a few ways, it could look like doing the dishes together, or playing on the same team during a game, or teaming up for an artistic project. You could even try reading the same book. As long as you are working together, your teen’s barriers will come down.
Encourage Late Night Chats
We find that a lot of times, teens are more willing to chat in the evening after getting back from a hanging out with friends. Chances are, they are in a better mood, and their guard is down. This is a great opportunity to try and stir conversation since they’re already in a social mood. We recommend offering to make them their favorite snack, saying something inspirational, and staying up with them because they might want to talk before bed.
Say Good Morning and Good Night
This next tip might seem simple, but it really works. If you get in the pattern of wishing your teen a good morning and good night every day, they will come to expect it from you, and it will start to feel weird when you don’t check in with them. It’s a really good way to show your teen that you care and that you’re thinking about them without getting too nosey in their business. Sometimes the simple check-ins are incredibly valuable, encouraging your teen to warm up and talk more.
Console Them Through the Hard Times
It’s no fun to see your teenager is having a bad day, but you can make the most out of the situation by offering to be there during a rough patch. Your teen is probably looking for some form of comfort, so they might be more open to expressing themselves and connecting with a parent. It’s important to give them space too, and you don’t want them to shut down by prying, so you might try saying,
“It looks like you’re going through something right now, and we don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want. But I’m just letting you know that I’m here no matter what, and you can talk to me about anything.”
Admit You’re Not the Expert
Sometimes teens separate themselves from their parents because they want to be in control, and you can break that down by explaining that you don’t always know best. If you were to open up to your teen about how you make mistakes too, and that you might not always know what’s best for a teenager, your teenager will be able to relate to you more and might open up. If you act like an authority figure all the time and make a habit of putting your foot down, your teen might avoid you just to gain a sense of autonomy. We suggested letting your teen know that you’re trying to figure it all out just like they are, and they might be more receptive to having a conversation.
We Hope This Helps Stir the Pot
It’s good to use these strategies to try and get your teen to reconnect with you, and when you do, remember to be open to what your teen has to say. We think at least one or two of these tips will be a success in your family and being able to spark positive conversations will only encourage your teen to stay engaged in the future.
Eric M. Earle is the founder of Tutor Portland. He used to struggle with mathematics himself, but studied math intensely in his early 20’s and became the premier math tutor in Portland, Oregon. He focuses on improving students’ math grades to better their college acceptance rates.
Further reading on teen happiness & a great way how to connect with a distant teen
I hope you have found this post on how to connect with a distant teen? to be useful, You might also like my post on the top 10 parenting TED talks
You might also like to purchase my book Be Happy Be You which has 50 happiness boosting tips for teens
And y postohn how to strengthen our bond with your child might also be useful