7 Ways to Stay Involved With Your Teens

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Author Bio: Charles Henry works for RentersInsurance.net a company that provides affordable prices for rental insurance.

Staying involved in your teenager’s life is essential to their wellbeing. Growing teens need guidance, love and support, even if they are not very good at showing it. By following some of the 7 tips that you will find below, you can give your kids the attention they deserve and it will improve their quality of life.

#1 – Designate time to do things together
If you want to stay involved in the life of your teenager, you need to spend time doing things together. It doesn’t have to be anything over the top, like a planned event, it could be as simple as going to the grocery store together. The best types of activities to do with your teen are things that they enjoy. Pressuring a teenager to doing things that you enjoy is difficult. Instead, engage in something they are interested in and show them that a parent can be a friend as well.

#2 – Show praise and affection
When a teenager does something in accordance with your expectations, it’s important that they receive praise and affection. Being involved in your teen’s life is the best way to learn about their accomplishments at school, work, or with friends. Teens may be approaching the age of adulthood, but they certainly still need love from their parents.

#3 – Listen and be attentive
When your teenager has something to tell you, be sure to listen closely. It’s not every day that kids open up and share with their parents. When they do, you have to be there for support. By listening and connecting with what they are telling you, you will be a much better parent and your teenager will know that you care about them and value their communication.

#4 – Stay up to date with today’s technology
Not everyone is cut out for regular IM, email, or text messaging chats. However, if you can stay up to date with technology just a little bit, you will be able to communicate with your teenager far better. Kids today are very in touch with technological advances. They use computers, tablets, and smartphones and they know how to operate these devices efficiently. By staying up to date, you will have quick access to communication with your teen. This includes being able to contact them while they are out of the house, which is vital to maintaining a close relationship.

#5 – Eat dinner at the table
Family meals are a time to connect with one another and share thoughts, feelings and experiences. Statistics show that families who don’t enjoy a meal together at least once a day are more distant and disconnected from one another. Eating at the dinner table takes a bit more preparation but the outcome will be a much closer relationship with your family. Engaging in activities like this can even improve marital relationships, which can improve the family altogether.

#6 – Don’t let your marriage interfere
Marital problems can cause tension and anger for a developing teen. Teenagers who grow up around relationship struggles are likely to develop resentment toward their parents. It’s important that any marital problems be dealt with responsibly, well away from your children. Private conversations are the best avenue for working things out between couples. Bickering or fighting in front of your teen can make them disconnect and want to escape from the situation. Trying to build a relationship while they are harboring these feelings would be difficult at best.

#7 – Provide responsibilities and don’t be afraid to discipline
Some parents are incapable of properly disciplining their child. Upon reaching their teenage years, they have learned that they can pretty much get away with anything. If this is a situation you find yourself in, it’s time to provide responsibilities and be prepared to initiate change in the family. Responsibility for a teen is important to learning how to fulfill goals and be successful. Provide your teen with an appropriate amount of responsibility. Make them accountable for their actions and stand strong with what you believe. It’s critical that you enforce and stay true to your expectations. Teenagers will learn to respect and adhere to what you tell them and it can be an effective tool for when you are seeking unity with your teen.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want to stay connected with their teens.

Image courtesy of Matt Gravity via Creative Commons license, some rights reserved.

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  • riverside arthritis doctor October 22, 2012, 6:27 pm

    During the teen years, it’s not only the son or daughter that’s adjusting to their hormonal changes – parents too. My parents never had any problems with us since they have given us a huge TRUST. We do not want to lose their trust so we do not do anything that can ruin their reputation. Have you given enough trust to your teenage daughter or son?

    Reply
    • Amy LeForge October 24, 2012, 9:39 pm

      I’m sure trying to trust! I tend towards “trust, but verify” with them.

      Reply
  • Margaret December 3, 2012, 7:49 pm

    My husband and I have quite different dynamics between our respective family of origin. One point that I have noted personally in our situation, and it is number 5 on your list. My parents and siblings sat down at the dinner table nightly; whereas my husband did this rarely with his family. Often his disciplinarian father sat in front of the tv, leaving his mother and siblings scattered around the dinner table or kitchen bench. This seems such a trivial matter, but it the MANY differences between our families is profound. The family that dines together experience so much more than eating. I believe that the fellowship, laughter, conversation, debate, and joy that is shared around a table is inevitable.
    Margaret´s last blog post ..NEW McMurdo Rescue Beacon PLB

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