4. They appreciate being heard
Seven out of ten kids want their parents to acknowledge that they don’t fully understand the changes going on in their kids and then affirm, “But I love you and value you and I want to understand who you are becoming.” Go out for coffee or a meal together and leave the cell phones at home. Since side-by-side conversation is often better for boys, ask your son, while you’re driving somewhere, about what he’s feeling about the upcoming tryouts. Take the time, repeatedly, to prove to your teen that you want to hear how things are going and what they are thinking. They desperately want to know “What do Mom and Dad think of who I’m becoming?”
In a few short years, your teenager’s prickly behavior will be a distant memory. They will move from being annoyed, embarrassed and curt with you to recognizing your wisdom and desiring your friendship.
Hang in there! Your teenager is doing the hard work right now of growing and discovering who they are. And deep down, they need to know that you’re their biggest fan.
Want to know how to be kind, when you’re really not feeling it? My research uncovered three daily actions that will transform your relationships – and you. Check out The Kindness Challenge, now available!
Helping people thrive in life and relationships is Shaunti Feldhahn’s driving passion, supported by her research projects and writing. After starting out with a Harvard graduate degree and experience on Wall Street, her life took an unexpected shift into relationship research. She now is a popular speaker around the world and the author of best-selling books about men, women, and relationships. (Including For Women Only, For Men Only, and the groundbreaking The Good News About Marriage).
Her newest book, The Kindness Challenge, demonstrates that kindness is the answer to almost every life problem, and is sparking a much-needed movement of kindness across the country. Visit www.shaunti.com for more.