How-To Easily build Emotional Connection with your Teenager
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.
Topics Covered in this blog
- Why Emotional Connection with your teenager matters?
- Why emotional connection is disappearing?
- 5 Effective ways to be emotionally connect with your teenager
- Day to Day things to focus on to maintain Emotional connection
- Things you can do to restart building Emotional connection
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
You can read in detail about each of these topics form our numerous to topics related to teenagers by following the given link -> Parenting challenges faced while raising a teen.
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.
You might be interested in reading our articles..
- How-to help your teen to choose right friends
- How-To get rid of your teens Toxic Friendship
- Talk to your Teen about Dating and Relationship
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 some of the teen issues.. you can read the below mentioned articles..
- How-To Handle Teen Backtalk and Disrespect
- How to effectively deal with Teenager Anger
- How-To Help & Deal with a teenager mood swings
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…
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.
You might be interested to read our very important article How to build positive family relationship with your teen
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?
- How-To Build HOPE in your Teenager
- How to help your teen adjust to new school
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.
your might be interested also in our articles.. How to prevent your teen from social media addiction, How-To protect your kid from Bullying
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.
Read our articles
- How to influence your teenager’s mental well-being
- How-To HELP & EASE stress in your teenager
- How to build positive family relationship with your teen
This will help you to be emotionally connected with them.
Day to Day things to focus on to maintain Emotional connection
Now that you can restart your connection, or always had that connection with your teen… Like any relationship… it needs to be worked on…
Below is the day to day things you can do to keep the relationship warm and going…
- Make conscious effort to spend time every day. Few mins of quality time to catch up is good to start.
- Get an update of their day. Ask questions that explore more of any situations your teen has brought to your notice.
- Talk to your teen about your day. Or some family update. So, they stay connected with family.
- Hug, kiss, pat or touch them when you get a chance. Make sure that you make it an effort to at least hold or pat them once or twice a day.
- Have one on one time with no disturbance at least half hour a week.
- Help them with their school project, or assignment or work. If you do not know what to do. Just take their record book and draw margins for them.
- Have a scheduled activity once a fortnight at least with your teen. Enjoy the time. Do what is fun for your teen and chill out.
- Use positive words and words of affirmation to them. Make sure that they hear at least one positive thing from you every single day. It can be a compliment on their dress to their winning a trophy.
- Nurture their friends and invite them over for dinner, or picnic or any family activity at least once a quarter.
- Show them respect, love them unconditional, listen to them and trust them.
When all hope is lost…
(Things you can do to restart building Emotional connection…)
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.
My 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. I have listed below what I did..
Before you start on this journey below are the 5 things you should be sure of doing…
- 1. Have a genuine want and wish to restart connection.
- 2. Make genuine effort and do not give up.
- 3. Be prepared to get snubbed and dismissed.
- 4. Make a conscious effort to spend time with your Teenager.
- 5. Thank for every opportunity that is given and make it count.
If you are committed and prepared on the above 5 things. Then it is time to start simple…
Things I did…
1. I started with a simple greeting. A good morning, A welcome back (once I see him come from school), A good night. Keep doing till it becomes a norm and your kid will start expecting it. I still remember the first time he said a “good night” to me before going to bed.
2. Smile and greet them. Show them you are happy to see them. Do not get discouraged if they do not smile back. Or even if they roll their eyes…
3. Keep offering them options to participate with you. Things like “ I am going for shopping do you want to come”, ‘I am starting dinner, do you want to help”, “I am taking dog for a walk do you want to accompany” etc.. Do not expect a yes… But some day you are bond to get a YES. When you do enjoy your time together.
4. Keep sending good messages or forwards. Or even jokes… Most of the time you will see blue double tick and no response. But they all will get registered in your teen’s head. Someday you will get a smile back… (Do not send messages that can be of emotional blackmail or that which makes your kid go on guilt trip. You may get blocked.)
5. Try and build routine with them. I got a chance to drop my son to school in the morning. Any routine… it can be a weekend shopping or anything…
6. Appear in their school activities. Show up even if they did not invite you. Let them see tat you are there. Leave silently once it is over. Soon you will see them looking forward to seeing you in the audience.
7. Ask questions to show interest because asking question is an effective way to connect with them. Be prepared to not get any response or mom syllable response. You continue and do not overdo it or do not make it feel like interrogation…
8. Invite them for a movie, or a dinner, or game or anything that you feel can be of interest to them.
9. Leave them notes around the house. When they had an achievement or an effort… Paste your sticky notes on their bedroom door or on the fridge or on their school bag. Tell them you are proud of their achievement or effort. Some days I have just written. “I think the red T shirt made you look dam handsome than the blue…”.
10. Try giving a pat or a hug or blow a kiss. Try to have loving physical contact. They can act like a stone or a porcupine. But do it. Did you know do when they were kids. Guess what. They are still your kids.
Do not expect things to fall in place on day one or month one or even year one.
But remember it is a relationship that last a lifetime and a year of effort is nothing in comparison. So, be ready to invest time to rebuild or restart.
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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It should not also be a substitute for mental health advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
If you are feeling concerned and worried about your kid. Your instinct tells you to be concerned.
As a parent to parent. I would say trust your instinct. No one knows better than you as a parent to your child. It is best to reach out to a qualified practitioner to address your concern.
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