At KS Services we see the healing impact of strong relationships between our teen clients and adults in their lives, and we are here to support, encourage, and problem solve those relationships. Everyday is a good day to pour into those relationships, and we want to share a few ideas to get you started.
Small things often
Just like any other relationship we need to actively put time and energy into the relationship with our teen. Teens are notorious for being temperamental and prickly (rebuffing our efforts or gestures with an eye roll or huff), but it is important and impactful to forgive easily and keep trying.
Throw their towel in the dryer and bring them a heated towel when they are done in the shower.
Offer to make their lunch in the morning so they have a few extra minutes to sleep in.
Initiate working together to cook a meal of their choice. If they turn you down, make the meal anyway.
Take your kiddo out for lunch on the next early release day. Offer to bring a friend.
Ask for your teen to teach you how to play their favorite video game.
Get excited about the things that your teen is excited about (some things are easier than others).
Ask about their favorite music; listen to one of their playlists.
Communicate on paper
Parent-child journals are an excellent way to open up another line of communication and get to know each other better. Check out a guided journal with an intro, writing prompts, lists to make, and free space to write OR grab a blank journal off the shelf, write a note to your kiddo, and create your own.
Parent-Child Journal Perks
Allow space to ask questions, and write about things that might feel a little awkward to bring up in person.
Writing prompts can spark new and fun conversations.
Provide a safe space to share thoughts and feelings when there is tension or misunderstanding between you and your teen/child..
Encourage both sharing and listening and gives time for the reader to mull over what has been shared before responding.
Allow a parent to share valuable insights and perspectives. And allows the child to read and take in that feedback when he/she is ready.
“Just Between Us” by Meredith and Sophie Jacobs (they have mother-daughter, mother-son, father-daughter, etc.)
In parenting YOU WILL MAKE MISTAKES. We ALL do, ALL the time. The mistake is not the problem; failing to apologize and take ownership for our part is the problem. How we handle the mistake can be an opportunity for the relationship to grow and the foundation to be strengthened.
Take time to regulate your own emotions (get some water, go for a short walk, BREATHE)
Take responsibility for your part in what has happened.
Look for ways to do better the next time (Ask your teen for their feedback).
Watch Dr. Becky Kennedy’s TED talk on repair (15 minutes filled with practical ideas and the reasons why repair is so important)
We know this is not easy, but we believe it is worth it, a thousand times over, and we at KS Services are here to support you in strengthening your relationship with the teens and kids in your life.
Licensed Resident in Counseling