Purple hair, ripped jeans, laughing for hours at memes, it can seem as if teens are in a world all by themselves and adults aren’t allowed in. But, is that really the case? Are they a generation that is pushing us out or screaming for us to bust in? It may seem like you need a secret code or certain fashion style to connect with the younger generation. However, that is not the case and connecting with your teen is a lot easier than it seems. 

 

Teenagers are seriously misunderstood and more often than not, they are completely ignored.

 

This may be done intentionally or unintentionally, but there is a generation that wants and needs our attention, guidance, and presence.

The beauty in all of this is the simplicity behind the natural day-to-day activity in their life that will help bridge the gap and provide opportunities to make a difference in their life and build trust for you to be involved in the more challenging issues that will surely come up.

 

In working with youth for over a decade now and having one for a few years now, these tips are some of the ones I have found most useful in connecting with the teen in your life. The key to these tips are to be consistent, be genuine, and be prayerful.

7 Practical Ways To Connect With Your Teen Christian Parenting Christian Motherhood Christ-Centered Mama

 

Practical Ways to Connect with Your Teen:
1. Compliment

Now people may read this and think right away this is probably what we shouldn’t do considering millennials are often known as the “selfie generation”. However, insecurity is one of the top issues plaguing our teenagers today which is no wonder why they’ll literally die for the next ‘Like or Follow.

 

When you see something you like let them know!

 

It opens up the door for conversation into what they like, why they chose that particular hair color, or what song they like from the band on their shirt, etc. This really works with anyone but especially with teens. Interestingly enough, they do take time and put a lot of thought into what they wear and how they present themselves so when people take notice it’s definitely a deposit into their love language.

 

 

Practical Ways to Connect with Your Teen:
2. Ask Specific Questions

 

One thing I’ve noticed is when you ask a general question, you are going to get a general answer. “How was school?” “Fine.” It can also come across as insincere and just a question in passing rather than a real want to know how their day was.

 

Be more specific!

“Did you ever talk to your teacher about the grade on your assignment? What did he/she say? Also, ask follow-up questions. This may seem like really basic and obvious tips but the reality is adults fail to treat teenagers like people.

 

Keep the questions flowing and prove to them you care about the answers.

 

 

Practical Ways to Connect with Your Teen:
3. Care About The “Small” Things

 

A lot of reasons why adults don’t want to connect with teenagers is because there is too much “drama”. However, their “drama” is exactly what they use to see if you’re interested, if you really care about their life, and if you will be there for them even in those moments that may seem ridiculous for you but are everything for them.

 

If they can trust you with their “drama”, then they will come to you for bigger things.

 

Small things aren’t so small for teenagers. We have to remember there is an enemy who is out for their life and he will use the small things as a constant reminder of what they are not in the world. We have to be the ones to help them recognize, battle, and speak truth into every situation regardless of how small it may seem. They all call for God’s presence and wisdom.

 

 

Practical Ways to Connect with Your Teen:
4. Be Into Whatever They Are Into

 

Oftentimes we are so quick to correct that we don’t offer a space to connect.

 

For instance, when parents see their teen giggling on their phone and their first response is to say something like, “Shouldn’t you be doing your homework? Why are you always on your phone?” Now these can be valid concerns but it can rob you of a time to connect. Usually when my daughter starts laughing out loud it’s almost like she wants me to ask, “What’s so funny?” She will then share what she sees on her phone and because we have the same sense of humor, we can laugh together.  

 

Knowing the balance of being a parent and just being present requires leading from the Holy Spirit.

 

Also, be present at their soccer games and chess tournaments. They may act like it’s fine if you’re not there but they definitely want to share wins and losses with you. It’s so different when your friends are there to cheer you on versus your parents being there to do it. Don’t ask just show up like you would if they were 7 years old.

 

 

Also, check out:  9 Lies Satan Whispers To You About Your Motherhood

 

 

Practical Ways to Connect with Your Teen:
5. Be Consistent With Conversation

 

Let’s say you have never had a personal relationship with your teen and you are attempting to start conversations with them but they just won’t open up.

Don’t give up!

 

The more consistent you are with setting aside time to talk with them, actually listening, giving feedback, or whatever the time calls for, the more they will learn to open up.

I have found after school is the perfect time to have a conversation. That’s easy for me as a stay-at-home-mom but I remember when my Dad was working he would call me or have me call him as soon as I got home. I was able to talk to him about my day and I felt connected with him even though he was 45 minutes away.

 

One of the great things about technology is you can contact them from anywhere in any way.

 

 

Practical Ways to Connect with Your Teen:
6. Remember What It Was Like

 

Whether we are dealing with teens or people in general, we tend to think because we have reached a certain level of understanding we automatically think everyone should be there as well. This is usually the case with teenagers and believing this way will often take away sympathy from our hearts to help them understand and replace it with frustration instead.

 

We forget how it was and think they should know more than they actually do.7 Practical Ways To Connect With Your Teen Christian Parenting Christian Motherhood Christ-Centered Mama

 

Have you ever heard these phrases, “What were you thinking? How could you be so stupid?” Teenagers are often not thinking. Mostly because they either weren’t taught or their brain is not yet able to function that way. It’s hard for us to psychologically understand because many of them have adult bodies so it tricks our minds to think they should be thinking like adults too.

 

One thing I learned from my husband is patience in understanding why people do the things they do and speak from the level of understanding they are at. Give your teen a break and learn to explain why you do or don’t do certain things.

 

Being understood is one of the many gifts we can give to someone especially our teen.

 

 

Practical Ways to Connect with Your Teen:
7. Spend Time With Them

 

This doesn’t have to be a huge vacation or something that has to be specially planned out with tons of money spent. It’s in the simple things that help us connect with our teen. Sitting next to them while they do homework, watching a TV show with them, driving in the car having conversations, cooking, or taking a walk outside. These are often the things they remember and truly cherish.

 

The other night while my teen and I were shopping for a coat she made it a point to tell me how much she enjoyed this time together. I asked her why just out of sheer curiosity and she said, “I don’t know. I just know that I really enjoy these times together.”

 

It’s the little things that are really big things.

 

Again, these may seem like very basic and foundational tips but I have witnessed many adults forget these basic ways to connect with their teen. I pray these will help you jumpstart having a beautiful and lasting relationship with your teen. Don’t wait another moment. Start today.

 

They are waiting for you.

 

 

 

About the Author

Nina is founder of www.teensexualpurity.com and www.howtoloveyourteenager.com. She is the wife of an amazing man of God and a mommy to 3 beautiful girls, one being an amazing teenager. She has volunteered at her church’s youth group for 11 years, dealing with 7th-12th graders.  Above all,  Nina is an avid lover and follower of Jesus Christ.

 

What About You?

Do you have troubles relating to your teenager? Have you tried any of these tips? What tips would you add to this list?

 

 

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2 thoughts on “7 Practical Ways to Connect with Your Teen”

  1. Great advice for this mom of 2 teens and one in the wings!
    I need to be better about #6 when I’m interacting with them. Wisdom from experience and age tends to forget what was important and earth-shattering when I was that age:)
    Visiting from #Salt&Light

  2. I don’t have teens yet, but my oldest is 8, so not too many years away. I feel like communicating is so key! I am currently making communication “traditions” and building them into our day so that (hopefully) when they are teens the trend continues.

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