Living well expert, Sandra Magsamen says the basics to connecting apply at any age. Hug, sing, dance and tell your child you love them. Even if your teen acts as if they can’t stand it, she promises you it’s something they love and need. Use these other suggestions as ways to connect with your teenager.
IM Saying It
Learn how to text your child on their computer or cell phone. Let’s face the fact that our kids are communicating in ways we never did growing up. We have to learn their language if we want to really keep connected. Teach yourself how to instant message (IM), text message, e-mail and send photos over the phone and the Web.
Let’s Do Lunch
Make a lunch date with your child and take them out for pizza, Chinese or Sushi (whatever they love). Use the hour to catch up on what’s happening. Let them do the talking—you do the eating. I know a mother and a child who go out to the same restaurant on the last day of school each year. They have created a tradition of celebrating the ending school year, and sharing dreams and goals for the summer and the year ahead.
Sports can be an important part of a teen’s life. If your child plays a sport, go to as many games as you can. If your child doesn’t play a sport, go watch a baseball game or find a game or activity that you both like and can share. Being “on the same team” builds connection and spirit. So have fun whether you’re watching or playing ball!
Because I Said So
You, too, can create a “because box”—a beautiful little box filled with notes to complete the phrase, “I love you because…” Make one for birthdays, special days or just because. I promise this token of affection, created in your own unique style, will be a cherished treasure to anyone who receives it. Simply jot down thoughts that finish this sentence: “I love you because…”
- …you have great ideas.
- …you are funny.
- …you introduce me to great music.
- …you have a great smile.
- …your hugs are the best.
Let the Artist in You Rule
Create a portrait gallery. Together, transfer family photos onto canvas, and then frame them like paintings. Or, have each family member paint his or her own self-portrait. You will laugh at how much fun—and how funny—these are to do.
Pull out the fondue pot, and heat up different cheeses for a night of dipping fun. Cube the best-tasting breads you can find—I like plain sourdough, garlic-rosemary and olive bread. For dessert, melt chocolate and dip strawberries, bananas and graham crackers into the heavenly mixture.
Article by Sandra Magsamen