Remember the statement – actions speak louder than words? These are great words to live by when raising a teen! They may not always want to talk with you, but they are paying very close attention to everything you do and thankfully, you can use this to help build that strong foundation.
When we recognize and take interest in our teen’s interests and their desires not just by talking about it, but by acting on it, they absolutely pay attention and love it – even if they don’t always admit it! Here are the top 5 ways you can show your teens you are taking an interest in their lives!
1. Welcome their friends. Two or three teens may be a little more rowdy than one, but trust me when I say by welcoming their friends, you are loving on your teen. Actively encourage your teen to invite their friends over for a sleepover, to family dinner or even a family camping trip. By embracing who your teen chooses to hang out with, you are further embracing them. It’s also a great way to keep track of who they are hanging out with throughout their childhood and teen years 🙌🏼
2. Purposely stock the pantry/fridge with their favorites. Even if our teens don’t always have the healthiest taste in snacks, be sure to have 2 or 3 of their favorite things in the pantry or fridge. If you are worried about their food choices, provide options for healthy snacks that they can choose from. This is such a simple gesture and shows that you pay attention and know what they enjoy. If you aren’t sure what their favorite is these days, simply ask them before your next grocery run!
3. Little “surprises” go a long way. This is a fun way to create small traditions between you and your tween/teen. Think random shopping “spree”, an arcade visit right after school pickup or even just a sweet sticky note on their pillow after you changed their sheets or put away their clean clothes. Even if your teen says they think it’s “cheesy” – they likely love it 😉
4. Our undivided attention. This is a tricky one when spouses, siblings and even pets are involved! The house feels chaotic at times and the start of a conversation with one family member leads to an interruption and finishing a conversation with another. Especially when younger siblings are involved, it is SO important to have a purposeful approach to spend one-on-one time with your teen. I like to call them “dates” and just like one-on-one time is important with your spouse, it is important with your teen! Make this your own and choose days, times and activities that your teen will love doing with you! These moments are where the real conversations happen. And remember, put away your phone! Nothing ruins a date like a work message dinging…
5. Showing up. This is HUGE. Above all else, be present for your teen – physically and mentally. Make it a priority to be at their sports games or even show up to a random practice to watch occasionally. Surprise them by pulling them out of school for a lunch date occasionally and be there in the audience for that school play where they have a single line. All of these moments, big and small, matter to them so much. You being there speaks so much louder than any word you could say to them and remember, put away the phone. When they look into the bleachers to see if you saw that 3-pointer, they don’t want to see your head down looking at your phone. Enjoy these moments with your teens – they truly do go by quickly!
What did you resonate with in this blog post? I’d love to hear in the comments! And be sure to download our free 3-in-1 PDF Bundle: Create Effortless Conversations with your Teen here!