(DailyTreasure.com) – Connecting with the teen in your life may not always be easy, but taking the time to consider an approach that will better match his or her needs and communication preferences can go a long way toward turning failed attempts at conversations into lifelong relationships. Here are five of Daily Treasure’s top tips for building a stronger relationship with the teen in your life!
Consider Your Own Experiences
A teen’s worries and frustrations may not make much sense to you as an adult, but it’s important to remember that he or she hasn’t had as much life experience as you have. Reflecting on what bothered or scared you when you were a teen can help you remember what it was like when the day-to-day drama of high school and planning for the future made up the majority of your concerns and refresh your memory about how much more things that might not seem important now mattered to you when you were younger.
Teens need to know that you are interested in their lives. Building shared interests, or at least attempting to understand theirs, can give you common ground and a time for conversations.
Show An Interest in Their Life
Teens want to know that the adults in their lives are interested in what matters to them, even if they don’t always act like it. This may mean setting aside time to attend their concerts and sporting events to having real conversations about what matters to them in life, learning what they think about things in the news, or asking what interests might point them toward a future career. Letting teens know that what they are interested in matters to you can go a long way toward convincing them that people care about them and that they are capable of using their talents and interests to make a difference in the world.
Build Stronger Relationships Through Shared Interests
Teens may be reluctant to share hobbies with the adults in their lives at first, but finding something you both enjoy gives you an outlet for spending time together that doesn’t require extra effort. From biking and fishing to Black Friday shopping and baking their favorite treats, creating special traditions with the teen in your life can turn into treasured memories for both of you and gives you time to have meaningful conversations about everything that is happening in their lives.
Use Technology to Your Advantage
You may not be interested in spending hours scrolling through Facebook or Instagram, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make an account to take an occasional peek at what is going on in your teen’s life. Using social media shows them that you are making an effort to connect with them in a way that matters to them, even if you would not otherwise be interested in those platforms. Spending a few minutes online every now and them can give you more leads than you might think about the current most important topics in their lives that could lead to in-person conversations.
Be the Adult the Teen in Your Life Needs
Sure, not every word that comes out of the teen in your life’s mouth is going to be kind. However, it’s important to remember that you are the adult and respond calmly instead of stooping to their level. Teens need positive role models that can teach them how to talk through conflicts, not adults that throw immature insults right back at them, and thinking before you respond can help you avoid saying things you will regret that can make teens less likely to try to come to you with problems they know will be difficult to discuss in the future.
Taking the right approach to meeting teens where they are can make the difference between a well-meaning attempt that falls flat and a genuine conversation that lets them know you care about them. Consider these suggestions the next time you get a chance to spend time with the teen in your life to create meaningful memories!
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