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How to Stay Connected with Our Teens

Summer is an amazing opportunity to reinforce communication with our teens and maintain meaningful connections with them. Staying connected with them seems like a challenge because of their constant connection to their electronic devices. Nowadays, our teens are so consumed by social media, YouTube, Tik Tok, and TV shows that it seems almost impossible to grab their attention for more than 15 minutes without being anxious to return to their digital world. But Is it really that hard? Or are we using it as an excuse to evade our responsibility?

As parents, we are responsible for fostering a well-balanced relationship between them having time for independence and solitary screen use and spending time connecting and sharing with family and friends. Below are some tips that will help you maintain a solid connection with your teens, at the same time, spend quality time with them amid their screen time.

1. Show Sincere Interest. Learn about their interests, hobbies, and passions. Ask them questions about their likes and dislikes and actively listen to their responses. They will be more open to engaging with you if they feel they are being heard and considered.

2. Be Approachable. Create a non-judgmental environment where they feel comfortable approaching you.

3. Include them in the Planning- Consider their likes and ideas when you plan summer activities to share with them.

4. Utilize Technology in Your Favor. Connect with them through platforms they use, such as texting, social media, or gaming. Plan a game day, a cool selfie photoshoot day, or create a Tik Tok video together. Use technology as an ally, not an enemy.

5. Teach Them, Be a mentor. Teens also learn from examples. Be a good model they would like to follow.

6. Foster good communication at all times. Create a space where they can feel comfortable expressing their thoughts and emotions. Encourage open dialogue and active listening.

7. Create opportunities for them to grow. Offer opportunities for teens to learn new skills or explore new interests. You could foster their involvement in workshops, volunteering together, or encouraging them to pursue internships or summer jobs.

8. Establish Screen-Free Activities. When you set rules, they will protest, but in the end, they will follow. Try to control the amount of time they spend connected to their electronic devices and set Screen Free Zones. Like telling them that from x hour to x hour, they must not use their phones or digital devices or that there will be no phones at the dining table. Create screen-free activities like a walk in nature, a hike, fishing, a beach day, or a BBQ. They'll not admit it, but they will treasure these screen-free times as they make great memories with the family.

9. Plan Exciting and Fulfilled Activities. Organize activities that appeal to teens, such as group outings, picnics, movie nights, camping, beach days, or game nights.

10. Know when to seek professional help. The teen years are notoriously demanding, and it is normal to have difficulties when connecting with our teens. However, we should be aware that, for some teens, it can be more challenging to maintain healthy connections with their families and others, and we need to provide them with the necessary help so they can overcome those hurdles.

Remember, establishing and maintaining meaningful connections takes time and effort. Be patient, consistent, and honest in your relationship with teenagers, and you're likely to succeed in creating strong and meaningful relationships with them. If you think you still need more help with your teen, do not hesitate to contact us. We have excellent resources that will help you strengthen your bond with your teen.

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