Every parent of a teenager needs to ask the question; how connected am I to my kid? Technology keeps moving forward giving kids more and more ways to disconnect themselves from their parents. Not that a teenager would have a hard time pushing their parents out of their lives, but the changing world of technology sure has made it easier.
From constant text messaging friends, to the all consuming social media sites, to what seems like the never-ending mountain of homework, teens are quite busy. While most parents are working long days, they are content to relax after work, check their social media sites, and the last thing on their mind would be to compete with the cell phone or computer to talk to their teen.
This is a big mistake! It’s vital for a parent to take the time to stay connected, even if you think your teen is on the right track and making good decisions. Staying connected isn’t the same thing as micromanaging; giving your teen room to make their own mistakes is essential to their growth as adolescents. Below are some tips for parents to help keep the family ties tight:
- Have a time set aside everyday, whether it’s sitting together at the dinner table or doing the dishes together to just talk about whatever may come up. It’s important not to force a particular conversation.
- Make sure you’re current about what interests you’re teen. Whether it is a particular sport or a special subject at school kids want to know that you care about what’s going on in their lives.
- Set a daily limit on computer and cell phone use. Don’t allow texting while you’re trying to have a conversation.
- Once a week do something fun together. This is difficult since the last thing a teen wants to do is spend an evening with their parents. But it’s important, try going out to dinner and let the teen pick the restaurant or play a game together as a family.
- Let the teens friends come over and get to know them. Making the teen’s friends feel comfortable in your home will go a long way in creating trust with your teen.