Emotional connection with your teenager: Have you ever tried to talk on your son or daughter, but they seem not to be in mood to talk to you? Or sometimes you have asked them a question, but their answers were shallow or in mom syllable.
Or maybe, you are trying to connect with them, and it seems they are in distance, they seem so out of reach. Even though, they are still your little child that you love.
Take heart. You are not alone. Majority of the parents who have teenage children go through this. I have sometimes felt that I was just talking to a solid brick wall when I was trying to talk to my teens.
Yet, despite all this. Your words do reach the seemingly closed ears and if you are lucky, they also get registered in their brains.
- Why Emotional Connection with your teenager matters?
- Why emotional connection is disappearing?
- 5 Effective ways to be emotionally connect with your teenager
Teenager is growing up. And one of the major goals of growing up is to become independent. To become an adult.
When you look at it from this angle it should be of no surprise to you that are teenagers are trying to be independent. They do not want to rely on their parents anymore.
That is why; it is hard to emotionally connect with your teenager. This coupled with all the confusions and the hormonal mood swings that your teenager goes through. Makes it that much more difficult for us as parents to hold their attention and emotionally connect with them.
But why it is important to be always emotionally connected with your son or daughter?
Do you really need those sorts of connection as a parent?
Can’t you not just embrace the changes and let it be?
And how can you be emotionally connected with your teenager?
These are common questions. Questions that I had when my first son entered teenage. And in this article basis my experience, my research, my reading, and my understanding I will try my best to articulate and answers these questions.
Why emotional connection with your teenager matter?
So, why does it matter? Humans are mostly dictated by emotions. This means that emotion take a huge part on our lives.
We use our emotion for various things such as in our decision making, choices in life and things that we want to do.
Without emotions things will be different, humans might become like a robot that decides based only on logics and facts.
That is why, emotion is very important, because it is a key for a harmonious relationship with your teenager.
If, your relationship with your family is being bond by emotions, for sure that relationship is strong enough to stands against the test of time.
In Short: Few reasons why we need emotional connection are, for…
- Wise decision making.
- Be a human and not robots
- To build relationships
- Help in effectively face challenges
- To handle anxiety and depression effectively
If you like to know about anxiety issues read our informative article How-To deal with anxiety in Babies & Toddlers.
Why emotional connection with your teenager declines
There are Several Reasons Why Emotional Connection with your teenager can be disappearing, and here are some the following.
Due to lack of communication.
You cannot get emotionally connect with your teenager if you do not engage in communication with them.
This could be due to pressures of work or other distractions. But whatever be the reason. When attempts to communicate and the time of communication reduces the rift starts showing up.
Also, your teen also is independent to move around and they get busy with their friends, activities, and social media.
All this adds up to the break down in commutation and get distant with you as they grow up and it is the main reason why Emotional connection with your teenager can be fading.
Your teenager son or daughter is now more emotionally connected with their social group or circle of friends. That is because they spend most of their time with them.
They are now trying to look for someone that has same hobbies and interest in life. And importance of social group starts taking more residence in your teenagers’ life.
Teenagers are becoming busier with their schools, board exams, preparation for college etc…
Usually, they cannot even spend time with you because they are busy doing extra-curricular activities.
They now have hectic schedule which cause you to have a hard time to connect with them.
Puberty age is natural with teenagers, where they are experiencing some changes in their bodies.
The way they think are also affected due to some hormonal changes. Mood swings and backtalk sets in. This makes conversations difficult.
You as a parent need to accept this fact and work out a way to reach out when all you feel they are trying to do is get in your nerves.
Accept the fact that they are growing up and reach out.
If you like to know more about how to deal with backtalk do read our article How-To Handle Teen Backtalk and Disrespect
The way your teenager acts can pretty much describe what they think.
Some of their visible behavior can determine if they are or they are not emotionally connected with you.
If you try to start a conversation with them, any topic. And if, your son or daughter responded to you in a disinterest or matter of fact way. Such as “Yeah alright”, “OK..Whatever” “Nahh…I’m not interested” most of the time.
Then it can be a clear indication they maybe no longer emotionally attached with you.
Hope not lost… Read on…
Ways to Stay Emotionally Connected with your Teenager
As a first-time parent to my first son. When he started entering teenage. All the reasons I had mentioned about I was guilty of doing and the communication with my son became just a handful of words in a day. And even those handful of words where was such as “okay”, “no”, “later”, “whatever”, “fine”.
Journey from this level of deuteriation to basic level of communication itself was a very hard journey. But not an impossible one.
There are many things we can try to regain emotional connection with your teenager
Five BEST WAYS to build emotional connection with your teenager
Make effort to spend time with your Teenager
Even though your son or daughter is busy, you can always make way to spend time with them.
Sometimes, if you do not pay attention on how frequent you spend time together, it can be the reason why they are no longer emotionally connected to you.
Always find time to talk with them.
Ask questions to show interest because asking question is an effective way to connect with them.
Compliment them about anything, it can their achievements, goals, or even their appearance. Tell them that they are pretty or handsome.
Motivate them in their goals in life. This small compliment can only occur if you spend some time with them.
For sure, this will build up emotional relationship with your teenager!
You can do the following activities with your teens:
- Eat dinner together
- Play video games with them
- Take a hike
- Go on a family vacation
- Visit a place that you think your teen want to visit.
Give Them Attention
Sometimes teenager can be an attention seeker because they aren’t matured enough. You must give them attention because it is very important for their development. My 2nd son fell into this category.
Emotionally relationship can be strengthened if you give some attention with your teenager.
Try to comfort them if you think, they have a problem.
Pay attention to the strength and weakness of your son or daughter. This worked as a charm for my son. Esp. when they were confused on which subjects to take or how to design their career.
Know this by heart so when the time comes you can encourage them.
You can ask them simple things that can show that you are paying attention like the following phrases:
- “Have you eaten your dinner? What do you like to eat?”
- “Oh! You look tired, are you okay?
- “How’s your school? Did you have fun today?
- “What are your plans for weekend. Do you wish to go somewhere this weekend?”
With these simple phrases you can show that you are giving them the attention that they need. And you are valuing their opinion.
Less of attention from adults is one of the main reasons for depression in teenagers. They feel that they are not important or valued. And no one is there who loves and cares for them.
Do read about How-to find out if your teenager is battling depression? As parents it is nice to be equipped with knowledge on teen issues.
Accept their Social Needs
The world of your son or daughter is expanding as they grow up. There will be several changes in every aspects of their life.
If, you want to stay emotionally connected with them, then you must accept their social needs. You must accept all the changes in their life.
They will likely spend time with their friends more often than being with you, because they value their social relationship with their peers.
Make sure to allow them to be with their friends. Do not restrict them so much because teens hate it the most.
Talk to your teens about their recent activities together with their social groups so that you can still connect with them.
This will also allow you to show that you are accepting their social needs. But make sure that you are guiding them.
You can set curfew time, so they know what time to get home.
Explain to them that curfew is not a way for you to restrict them in their social needs but a way for you to protect them and make them safe.
By giving them the necessary freedom that they crave for. With some boundaries and control. It becomes a win-win situation for both of you.
When your teen sees your genuine interest in their social needs you will be delighted to find that they will start opening to you this aspect of their life.
Respect the Opinion of your Teenager
When your child became a teen, their principles and ideology are starting to take form. They now have opinions and dream in their mind. Your teenager son or daughter can now think on their own.
As a parent, make sure to respect the opinion of your teenager if you want to emotionally connect with them.
Do not ignore their opinion nor degrade it because it is important for them. Keep in mind to respect their ideas, principle, and feelings without being judgmental. Let them express themselves the way they wanted if it is right and acceptable.
Do not interfere too much.
Agree to disagree. When you are not in alignment with their rational.
Unless that their decisions are not causing harm to them or to others. Let them carry on with their ideas with some guidance and input from your side if they ask for.
The more they get better and wiser in decision making you would find that the self confidence in your team gets boosted up.
Always have Positive Interaction
Teenager life is different as compared during their childhood. They now have responsibility whether in their home, school, part time job and social life. Most of the time they are trying their best to handle the situation.
For sure, your teenager can be stress because of these responsibilities.
So, help them to have some peace of mind.
Have some positive interaction with them instead of negative ones.Stay away from criticism or quoting incidence repeatedly. Incidents that has occurred in the past where your teen has already learnt their lessons and moved on.
Ensure that the discussions that you have with your teen are progressive in nature.
With forward looking outlook and filled with positivity and hope.
When a teen loses hope and the future does not look bright for them, they not only get into depression, but suicidal tendencies tend to arise. This is mainly due to lack of hope.
Help them to feel relax when they are with you. Say some kind words to them to start a positive interaction.
This will help you to be emotionally connected with them.
Emotional connection with your teenager is important for the complete development of teens.
It has a big factor in their total development whether in their physical, mental, and emotional health.
Teens are experiencing changes in their life. They are starting to feel pressure, stress, and anxiety towards this development.
Your Emotional connection with your teenager is the key to help them pass through difficult situations in life.
Let them feel that you are there for them. Make sure that your teenager realized that you support them in every aspect of their life.
Always try your best to spend time with time even though both of you have busy schedule.
Pay attention to them because teen also seeks attention. Learn to accept their social needs and respect their opinions.
If you can, make more positive interaction than negative ones.
Maintaining emotional connection can be difficult but you can try some things that I mentioned in this blog.
Nurture your emotional connection with your teenager so that you can always guide them.
If you think that your emotional connection with your teenager is fading, then it is not too late to regain and do something about it.
I did it so I am sure you can also try and get through to your teen.
However, I am a mother growing 3 kids. Am a concerned parent.
I like to share my knowledge with the hope that it will be help to someone somewhere and make a difference to a very worried parent.
I have written this article, basis my experience, my talk with experts in this line and research on this topic. Also, I have implemented it in my life with my kids.
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