Connecting with your teen may be the most important thing you can do in the parenting teens journey. CONNECTION is at the heart of preserving the relationship
long term, and it is the center focus of all that I hope to share when it comes to parenting teens. At the heart of all I share is my desire for all of you parents connecting with your teen
CONNECTION is more than just talking, or even communicating well, it’s intrinsic, it’s deeper, it’s long lasting. I want that for you so much so that I’ve dedicated this as The Year of the Teenager
(do you have the “We were all teenagers once
” shirt?). With every “day of the teenager” or last day of each month, I’ll issue a CONNECTION CHALLENGE. Whether you have are raising a teen, pre-teen, teacher, mentor, or preparing to parent a teen, you can participate! Save this post, PIN it, book mark it, because it will be the home base of the connecting challenge.
Create opportunities to connect with your teen
Connecting with your teen takes effort, intention, and choice. It’s not something that just happens, we have to buck up and make it happen. Plan. Set aside time. Being proactive. Make it a habit. When we have or create opportunities to connect, it builds trust in our relationship, and lends to the hope that they will come to us when they need help or advice. It’s no guarantee, some personalities like to do things all on their own, I was that kind of teen. But I alway knew my parents were a soft place to land, and that meant the world to me. We have the opportunity to be a constructive voice in their head, and they will be better equipped for the challenges of life with that bond.
LET ME BE CLEAR: these challenges are not just for the parent/teen relationship that is in a good or “ok” place, but also for those of you that are struggling to have any kind of relationship with your teen. Connecting with your teen has endless opportunities, and you will likely find that you are doing it in more ways than you realize. For example, connecting happens over family dinner, creating rituals, chauffeuring to weekday activities, and family vacations.
However, this challenge is more one-on-one based. Though MY focus is the teenager, if your kids are younger, or you are mentoring a teen, my hope is that these challenges will feel applicable with options built in. This page will be the home base for a year of CONNECTING CHALLENGES, so bookmark it, pin it, save it, and follow along on the connecting journey. Check back, and I will have the below hyperlinked to the monthly post/challenge.
I even have a printable you can DOWNLOAD that simply says “CONNECT” that you can hang up to remind yourself to CONNECT with your teen.
Download and print here: CONNECT Printable
One of my favorite podcast interviews last year was from Alisa Van Langeveld
where she helped me realize the importance of connecting for 10 minutes each day with our child
. We can have it as a goal, and if it doesn’t happen daily, we will survive, but I LOVE this as something to strive for! In the episode, she taught me that CONNECTION doesn’t have to be TALKING! It was a mind-blowing perspective shift for me, and has changed everything in what I understand about connecting with your teen. Riding in a car in silence, back scratches, singing a song together on the radio, watching a video together…all connecting! Besides the monthly challenges, I’ll be sharing more tidbits of connecting with your teen on Instagram at @KristenDukeChats
I hope you’ll join me on this connecting journey this year! Follow along on Instagram at @KristenDukeChats for daily updates, and this post monthly.
If you missed the original post I shared on January 1st, We were all Teenagers Once
, and want to order a t-shirt to join the movement to CONNECT with your teen, follow that link!