Connecting With Your Distant Teen

Do you ever feel like your teenager is living on a different planet? Like they are simply existing in your house and eating your food, but have almost zero interest in your perspective or influence?

The guys over at the National Fatherhood Initiative know how you feel. They have posted a few pointers for connecting with your adolescent that might help move things in a positive direction. Here's what they have to say...


Suddenly find it impossible to carry on even the smallest conversation with your teen or pre-teen kid?  Don't give up - we've got four simple strategies to help you break through the silence.


Keep Communicating. 


Even if your teen doesn’t engage in conversation, keep talking to them and ask questions that require a sentence answer instead of just “yes” or “no."  Practice active listening as they answer your questions - pick up on something they said to ask them another question

Be Understanding. 


Remember what your teen child is going through physiologically, mentally, and spiritually.  Your child's body is going through many changes and he/she is forming the core of her identity.  Remind yourself to have extra patience and understanding - this is a difficult age.




Don't wait for your teen to come to you.  Create some opportunities to do things they would enjoy doing with you, like watching their favorite movie or listening to music together.  Go for a bike ride, help them practice for a favorite sports team, or go out for an ice cream cone.


Laugh with Your Teen. 


Laughter provides a way to release the pressure built up in a relationship.  Bring up inside jokes you’ve had over the years or just be silly and create some new ones.  But, be careful not to embarrass your teen with old childhood stories or events about which he/she might be sensitive.


Yes, the teen years are frustrating, but your child needs your presence and involvement now more than ever.