Find out your parenting style with my parent personality quiz!

Find out your parenting style with my parent personality quiz!

COURSE LOGIN

How to Connect with Your Teen, Even When You Don’t Want To

Dr. Meg Meeker

Dr. Meg Meeker

Staying connected to your child during his teen years may be one of the greatest challenges of parenting. Yet, staying connected to your teen during these tumultuous years is also the most important thing for his well-being. Your relationship with him is what will give him his best shot at successful adulthood.

I recently spoke with Dr. Henry Cloud about this topic on my Parenting Great Kids podcast.

Dr. Cloud is the author of the famed book that I highly recommend every parent read, Boundaries. His most recent book, The Power of Other, addresses the importance of relationship in our lives. In this book, he talks about how we’ve known for a while now that our thought life and belief system greatly affects our lives, but the third leg of that is relationship.

Our relationships can actually affect the wiring in our brain and our outward behavior. Dr. Cloud gives the example of walking into a room and feeling anxious. If you can connect with someone in that room, that connection can make you feel less anxious. Or, the reverse could happen. That person could make you feel more anxious depending on their attitude toward you.

Parental relationship is critical during your child’s teen years.

Dr. Cloud explains that the teenage years are so difficult because a “transfer of power” is happening. You’re beginning to transition your child into adulthood. Your teen is given more freedom and more responsibility. This can only happen well if emotional investment is fueling the transition. Meaning, you aren’t going to be able to successfully transition your teen to adulthood if you’re not connected to him.

It’s this lack of emotional investment and parent connectedness that can cause so much conflict and distrust during the teenage years. Teenagers, feeling adulthood is around the corner, begin to desire more freedom. But they can only be given as much freedom as they can handle responsibly. Knowing and feeling connected to your child will allow you to know what she can handle.

Some 15-year-olds can go to a party at a friend’s house and avoid any negative activity happening there and come home by curfew. Some 15-year-olds can’t be trusted to do that. But you will never know where your own child stands if you don’t know her very well.

I know that sometimes we as parents feel like we are only given so much time with our children, so we need to spend every spare moment instilling a lesson or talking to them about a behavior we disapprove of. Don’t do this.

Dr. Cloud and I agree: If you only have ten minutes of one-on-one time with your teen on a certain day, choose to connect with him over lecturing him. Ask him how he is. How his day was. What’s going on in his life.

This will build that emotional investment that will successfully fuel your child’s teenage years, as you give him more and more freedom and, therefore, more and more responsibility.

It is crucial for parents to fight to keep connected during their child’s teen years.

Parents, the teen years are tough. As Dr. Cloud put it, they are a like a coup d’état. Your child is transitioning from living under your authority to living under his own authority in adulthood. Even though this may be the time you are most tempted to lose connection with your teen, don’t. Fight for it. This isn’t a struggle for power. This is a transfer of power. And you have the power to make that transition as smooth as possible, setting your teen up for a successful and healthy adult hood.

Sponsors

Skylight-Meeker

Skylight Digital Picture Frames are the perfect bridge connecting you to the special moments of those you love! It’s private, pre-loadable, and you can personalize it! Visit SkylightFrame.com

Crunch-Labs-Meeker

Here’s the perfect gift to inspire and delight that young person in your life! The CrunchLabs build box subscription. Crunchlabs packs the fun into science by sending kids a new toy to build each month. And everyone’s favorite youtuber Mark Rober’s teaches them how! Kids LOVE IT! Go to Crunchlabs.com/DrMeg and get yours today!

Your pet can’t choose healthy, but you can! Choose Whole Life Pet for human grade, freeze-dried, nutrient-rich, all natural food and treats for your dog or cat!

Visit wholelifepet.com

Thrive-Market-Meeker

Thrive Market – the customized and economical way to shop organic, non-gmo, and healthy – for you and your family.
Visit thrivemarket.com/drmeg

Green-chef-Meeker
The #1 Meal Kit for Eating well. Go to greenchef.com/60drmeg and use code 60drmeg to get 60% off plus 20% off your next two months.  greenchef.com to start now! 
Masimo-stork-baby-monitor

Masimo Stork is a revolutionary new baby monitor. SET technology has been in use for 25 years in the NICU units of America’s hospitals – now that same technology is available at home. Masimo Stork tracks real time, with your baby’s pulse rate, oxygen saturation, and skin temperature. While not a medical device, it can ensure more confident and calmer parenting. To learn more, go to masimostork.com.

More Posts

Sponsors

Skylight Digital Picture Frames are the perfect bridge connecting you to the special moments of those you love!

Here’s the perfect gift to inspire and delight that young person in your life! The CrunchLabs build box subscription.

Your pet can’t choose healthy, but you can! Choose Whole Life Pet for human grade, freeze-dried, nutrient-rich, all natural food and treats for your dog or cat!

The #1 Meal Kit for Eating well. Go to greenchef.com/60drmeg and use code 60drmeg to get 60% off plus 20% off your next two months.  

Website-Dr. Meeker (8)
Feeling a a bit uneasy about having "the talk" with your son or daughter?
Dr. Meeker is here to help! “How to Talk to Your Kids about Puberty & Sex (ages 8-18)” is her most comprehensive course ever and she’ll equip you to have that conversation with knowledge, confidence and sensitivity. Check it out!

More Tools to Simplify Fatherhood