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“No, I am not going to do that.”
A teen’s stubborn will can be like a brick wall.
I usually take my daughter’s cell phone when she responds with disrespect. Then I’ll add a day or chore for each defiant remark.
One time she stacked up 5 days in just a few minutes.
Usually when my daughter and I butt heads, I know it’s a mood that will pass and our relationship will fall back onto its foundation of love and connection.
I believe the relationship and bonds we create with our children will get us through the strong-willed battles of the teen years.
Author of If I Had a Parenting Do Over Jonathan McKee, recently spoke at my church and shared about the importance of bonding with our children.
When McKee researched for his book he asked parents what their number one do-over was. Most parents wished they’d connected with their kids more.
Only 2 percent polled wished they had applied more boundaries.
Boundaries are essential, but we can get so concerned with setting and enforcing them that we miss out on opportunities to connect.
As I thought about ways I’ve connected with my teen, these are the areas that have had a positive impact on our relationship.
Be The One She/He Can Talk To
I want my children to feel like they can come to me with anything. Start building open communication when children are young. #parentingteens Click To Tweet Young kids are eager to spend time with you. Plus, you get the added advantage that they think you have all the answers, even when you don’t.
This is one reason I think parents should start teaching children about sex education in age-appropriate ways before they hear it from peers at school.
This has opened the door of communication as she has gotten older. To this day, she is not afraid to ask me questions.
Balance Bonding and Boundaries
“Pick up your shoes! Put your dish in the dishwasher.”
There are times I come downstairs into the TV room and my kids hide from me because they know I’m going to tell them to clean up their mess.
Instead of barking out orders like a drill sergeant I need to express my values and needs, make sure they’ve heard my heart correctly, and make requests. This helps build empathy, creating bonds that make them more willing to help.
Some of the most meaningful conversations with my kids occur after bedtime when one of them sneaks into my room to hug me (one last time) and we end up talking for hours.
For me, allowing the bedtime boundary to be broken every now and again when sensing a good bonding opportunity has opened the doors to some great conversations.
The rest of this post is featured at Ruthie Gray’s blog.
I would love for you to hop on over and read the next 2 important ways to connect with your teen.
I share an important moment where I’m glad I didn’t take the teenage attitude personally.