Teen on skateboard.Are you looking for ways to connect with teenagers? Tap into his interests to do so. Watch him skateboarding or surfing. Try rollerblading with him or simply spend a lazy afternoon at a theme park. Simple activities guaranteed to supercharge your bonds with your teenager.
Family and Parenting,  Parenting

10 KILLER WAYS TO CONNECT WITH YOUR MOODY TEEN (Updated 2019)

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ARE YOU FREAKING OUT ABOUT WAYS TO CONNECT WITH YOUR TEEN?

Do you know that there are simple ways to connect with your teen during the teenage years that actually work like crazy?

You’re shaking your head in disbelief, right?

Because you know that a simple good morning is often greeted with a scowl.

An innocent how was school today is met with a scathing verbal personal attack that leaves you stunned.

 

You’re really desperate to bridge the yawning gap with your teen.

But just daydream with me for a minute.

Imagine how wonderful it would be to have your teenager returning your hugs instead of shrugging you off.

Or sharing the day to day events of his day over his after-school snack like he used to.


Better still, wouldn’t it be great to end the tiresome daily tantrums and anger?

Even better, imagine hanging out with your teen doing something fun? Heaven, right?

List of 30 fun activities to do with your teenIn this post, I’m going to show you exactly how to turn your relationship with your moody teenager from lukewarm to red hot.

 

It’s power packed with the action steps you need to take to make your teen your raving fan again.

But first, you need to understand why your teen acts as if you have an incurable disease he may catch if he is in the same room with you for longer than 5 minutes?

UNDERSTAND YOUR DISRESPECTFUL TEENAGER


Your teen’s journey to adulthood has no GPS. The route is instead riddled with obstacles such as:

•  The frontal cortex of the brain is still developing. This is like the settings feature of your cellphone. It controls emotions and often causes teens to show poor judgment.

•  Erratic hormones which bring with it anger and moodiness

•  Constant comparison to his peers about his appearance, values, and beliefs, which in turn causes issues about confidence and self- esteem

Unfortunately, he is as prickly as a pineapple about any and everything during this phase.

So when you remind him to take his sports kit with, he feels you think he is incompetent.  So he lashes out.

If you ask him about a grade in a quiz, he interprets it as a lack of trust in his ability to study effectively.  A cutting jibe is a likely result.

Are you seeing the pattern? It is not that he no longer loves you. It’s nothing personal at all.

Your teen simply wants to be in charge of his own life and make his own decisions.

Your questions and reminders undermine this and so you bear the brunt of this misdirected anger.

HOW TO CONNECT WITH YOUR TEEN

List of 30 exciting ways to connect with your ttenWondering how to do it? Don’t worry. I’ve got your back.

Carl E Pickhardt Ph.D. in 10 Ways to Stay Connected with Your Adolescent in Psychology Today states clearly:

parents must remain an essential player in the teenager’s life during this trial and error process of growing up

 

What you need to do is launch a strategic attack to get your teen out of his room and into the fresh air with the family.

Let me break this down for you:
 –  Draw up a list of things that pique his interest
 –  Plan cool activities that tap into his hobbies  and interests

Line up a program so power packed with adventure and excitement, your sulky teen will be begging you for more.

And, the more time you spend together the greater the chance to engage and interact with him.

But first, you have to spend time breaking the ice so that your teen
will actually do all the fun things you have lined up.

BEST TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL INTERACTION WITH YOUR TEEN

1. UNPLUG FROM YOUR PARENT ROLE

Now, this is important.

To maximize your connection, you need to unplug from your parent role.

Stop with the worrying, correcting, reminding. Suppress your instinct to right your teen.

He is working his way to adulthood as best he can.

2. GIVE LOVE AND SUPPORT

What he needs most from you in the stormy teen years is to be able to count on your unfailing love and support.

To feel like you are always in his corner no matter what.

Create a positive and supportive atmosphere so he sees the home and family as a safe harbor he can seek refuge in when he needs to.

3. PRACTICE ACTIVE LISTENING

  1. Active listening is a basis for good relationshipsActive Listening is one of the most important parenting tools.
  2. To tap into this vital skill, learn to avoid multitasking while your teen is talking to you.

  3. When you give 100% attention to your teen, it encourages him to open up to you.
  4. The more he talks, the better your understanding of your teen becomes.

  5. You get a rare chance to find out about 
    his interests, problems, relationships.

    Active listening allows your teen to trust you. It may start with the trivia of his day but may progress to seeking your advice on important issues.

  6. 4. STAY UP LATE

    Create the opportunity for one on one time with your teen by staying up for a  late night snack. Ensure it’s one of his favorite treats.

Being a night owl, he is likely to wander into the kitchen in search of a bite.

Share the goodies with him and he is likely to let slip a few details about what’s happening in his world.

Before you know it, your late night snack is likely to become a special time for you and your teen.

5. MAXIMIZE TIME IN THE CAR

Switch your favorite podcast or playlist off.  The silence of the car ride and the lack of face to face interaction is the perfect way to engage your teen.

Allow him to guide the conversation. If he does not want to talk, comfortable silence also builds trust.

But use the time to bridge the gaps in your relationship.

RELATED: ARE YOUR PARENTING MISTAKES HURTING YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR TEEN?

10 PAINLESS WAYS TO CONNECT WITH TEENAGERS

This post gives you a few fun teen-approved activities to reignite your relationship with your teen.

Here are a few ideas to get started.

WATER SPORT

Try super thrilling sports for a new experience. Grab an inflatable kayak and go kayaking. Be daring and go white water rafting, surfing, or waterskiing.

 

ENDURANCE SPORTS

Why not test your teens will power and determination? If he is wanting in these areas, this is a great way to build them.

Give swimming, cycling, hiking, and marathoning a try.

Water and endurance sports may need more time and planning to effect but they are activities your teen will love. 

Perhaps a weekend away where your family could try out a few of them with the necessary guidance is a good idea.

Below are 10 simpler activities that may be easier to effect right away.

ACTIVITY #1: MAKE A SHORT MOVIE

Ways to connect with teens| Make a family movie. Bond while you tick this off your bucket list ideasIs your teen like all teens constantly taking selfies and making videos and uploading them to Social Media?

Why not make a mobile film? Check out this example of an award-winning Mobile Film:

Making a mobile film is inexpensive.

Did you know there are smartphone film festivals? Check out the list of such festivals here.

Your tech-savvy teen is sure to buy into this one. One on one family interaction as you cover the basic steps to make a short cell phone movie.

The process of making the movie involves action. You know how notoriously reluctant teens are to make face to face contact.

But when they are fully absorbed in what they’re doing, chatting about the project is easy.

One thing leads to another and you’re sure to get a peep into what makes him tick.

Total collaboration on:

 –  Roles in the movie production ( director, cameraman, actors)
 –  Pre-production  ( choice of plot and topic, script writing, location,         filming times, characters )
 –  Production ( shooting of the movie )
 –  Post-production ( editing, adding visual effects, music)

Transform your simple mobile movie to a Hollywood stunner.

The idea may be to make a short movie but it still takes time, planning and best of all family input. An activity guaranteed to draw your teen back into the family’s loving embrace.

Perhaps, your teen may be so happy with the movie that he may consider uploading it to YouTube or entering it in one of the Smartphone Film Festivals.

ACTIVITY #2: CREATE A SIMPLE FAMILY PLAYLIST

This combines two of your teenager’s greatest loves – the cell phone and music. He is bound to do an excellent job.

Great family collaboration opportunity. Get together to compile a daily morning playlist to set the tone for the day ahead.

Have fun with the selection of songs to be included.

You may include a few nostalgic kiddie songs, upbeat songs to spur you on with your morning routine or a sentimental tune that’s played frequently at big moments in your family.

This project is sure to strengthen your strained bond with your teen.

ACTIVITY #3: GO TO A WATER PARK

Enjoy the adrenaline rush of a visit to a waterpark. Be reckless, wild, daring and fun.

Challenge your teen to the scariest rides and plot to beat him in the park challenges.

Let your teen see you in a non-parent role – shrieking with laughter, high on fun and just enjoying yourself.

Connect with teenagers - 10 easy ways to truly engage with your teenager

ACTIVITY #4: ROCK CLIMBING

This is the perfect formula for teenagers – a combo of adventure, danger, and risk.

Visit a sports center or gym that has a wall for rock climbing. Enjoy role reversal here.  You will be nervous and completely out of your depth.

But, you’re sure to get a unique look into your teen’s character – he will probably be helpful and protective while you climb.

You can bask in the knowledge that he will grow up to be a caring young man.

A perfect addition to your memory bank!

#5: SURFING

Sign up for a family surfing class.

Surfing is a blend of excitement, danger, and fun that is sure to attract your teenager.

No one is an authority here except for the instructor. This is a wonderful release from your day to day relationship boundaries with your teen.

All barriers are shattered in the effort of learning to surf. The exhilaration of actually surfing together is like a wellness shot to your relationship with your teen.

RELATED: 30 INCREDIBLE FAMILY BUCKET LIST IDEAS

ACTIVITY #6: TAKE A FAMILY COOKING CLASS

Is yours a family of adventurous foodies?

Why not take capitalize on it by signing up for a cooking class to learn a new cuisine?

Think about discovering the secret to a spicy tandoori chicken, tangy sweet and sour Chinese chicken or traditional Italian lasagna.

It would be a wonderful voyage of discovery of a new culture. The whole family gains a big score for the memory bank through the simple pleasure of cooking together.

RELATED: 7 INSIDER SECRETS TO AWESOME FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS

ACTIVITY #7:  STREET TUG OF WAR COMPETITION

Nothing gets people into the mood for fun more than a team event. Try tug of war – a little known but really exciting sport- to enhance your family and community bonds.

Organize a street tug of war contest. Pop flyers into mailboxes inviting the neighborhood to the competition. Make the details clear:

 –  Number of entrants per team
 –  Date
 –  Time
 –  Place

Do try to get local stores to sponsor prizes and refreshments.

What’s in it for you and your teen :

– family bonding in organizing the competition
– the thrill and fun of taking part in the event
– a sense of accomplishment at the fun of a team event

ACTIVITY #8: VOLUNTEER AT A SOUP KITCHEN

It may be harder to win participation in this plan.

One way around it is to invite your teen’s friends to be a part of your family volunteering program. He’s less likely to feel self-conscious about being a do-gooder.

Volunteering at a local soup kitchen is a unique bonding experience. It builds desirable values in your teen like compassion and empathy for the less fortunate.

Serving the needy provides a great opportunity to shift your teen’s focus from selfish to selfless.

RELATED: SIMPLE STEPS TO START SUCCESSFUL FAMILY VOLUNTEERING NOW

ACTIVITY #9: GARAGE SALES

Here’s an out of the box shopping venture.

Go bargain hunting at garage sales in your neighborhood.

Start early, trace a route, decide on a budget per family member and go shopping with a difference.

Why? Other than buying stuff at next – to – nothing prices, your teen develops money and social skills.

A secret way to weigh your teen’s character. Note his sensitivity to an owner of a keepsake relating the story behind it. Or the care he takes when handling the treasures of others.

Also, a  wonderful way to meet members of the community who may also be going to sales in the neighborhood.

ACTIVITY #10: BOARD GAMES

Yeah, I know you’re thinking, ‘ Who does that today? ’ Dead boring, right?

Think again. Simple unplugged fun. Great way to connect with your teen.

It is a superb way to tighten the knots of your family bonds.

You can’t play a board game yourself. So straight off the bat, there is social interaction and cooperation with family members.

Endorphins, the feel-good hormone is released. So, there is shared laughter and fun over gameplay.

You’re left with a lingering happiness long after the game is over.

The course of a board game involves more than just gameplay. Often there is easy sharing of ideas and concerns. It is a great way to cement family relationships.

MICHELLE MYERS has a great post in Best Board Games For Teens – Ideas for Teens from Teens to help you select the best games for a successful games night to connect with your teenager.

 

Teen on skateboard.Are you looking for ways to connect with teenagers? Tap into his interests to do so. Watch him skateboarding or surfing. Try rollerblading with him or simply spend a lazy afternoon at a theme park. Simple activities guaranteed to supercharge your bonds with your teenager.
Photo by Wendy Wei from Pexels

YOUR TURN

Let’s recap. To boost your connection with your teen, you need to:

–  Switch the always-on parenting role off
–  Create opportunities to bond with your teen
–  Take a timeout for fun activities to do with your teen
–  Engage with your teenager about his interests
–  Suggest activities around your teen’s hobbies and interests

–  Be open to trying new things your teen’s way

This quotation sums up the difficulty of being a teenager.

Adolescents are not monsters. They are just people trying to learn how to make it among the adults in the world, who are probably not so sure themselves.
Virginia Satir

It is sad that through a lack of understanding about the teen years, many parents fail to bridge the gap with their kids.

I urge you not to be another statistic of the terrible teen years. Find ways to connect so you can share a rich rewarding relationship with the great adult he will soon be.

Do you have any ideas about making connections with teenagers? Share your story in the comments below.

If you enjoyed this post, please help to share it on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook.

 


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A former English teacher turned lifestyle blogger. Content creator for blogs and websites. Book lover, scrabble addict and crime show obsessor.

27 Comments

  • Avatar

    Fiorella Madsen

    These tips are a great way to connect in the best way possible with our teenagers. It is a special age and is important to understand them.

  • Avatar

    Noemi

    Thanks for this informative post, very well written. I didn’t even know that they are growing and going through so many changes, slipped my mind this can cause their moodiness. I hate looking back on when I was an emotional teenager! Thanks again

  • Avatar

    Janay

    Hello,
    This post is very informative and a must read for anyone dealing with teenagers. My cousin is now a teenager and the once sweet loving little girl seems so far gone. Dealing with teenagers is sometimes hard but very rewarding! Thank you for this post!

  • Avatar

    Jubilee

    I love these ideas! My family was always able to connect through board games, it was a great common ground. We still play whenever I come into town!:)

  • Avatar

    Marni

    These are great ideas! I think cooking classes are a great way to bond. Not only does it let you get messy- you can try to replicate it at home and discuss other cultures!

  • Avatar

    Life Parenting Motivational Blog

    Although I don’t have a teenage child, this list is still great to apply to your 6 yrs kiddos. Love your idea to create a family playlist. We actually have it and enjoy dancing to each other’s favorite songs. A waterpark is the best, well, I personally tired a lot but my children are so crazy about the waterparks.

  • Avatar

    tachira

    I have a long way to go before I reach those teenage years. I think every stage of parenting has its own unique challenges. These are some excellent suggestions to maintain the bond during these difficult years.

  • Avatar

    Cassie

    Great advice! We don’t have teens yet, but I know of a few family friends would love to read this. I think they’ll find it very helpful 🙂

  • Avatar

    Jovane'

    In another two months our first child will enter the big age of 13 though I feel we have been dealing with teenagehood before he is hitting this age! To be honest I am kinda terrified of these coming years because I was once a teenager and know exactly how they are! This is a wonderful list that I pinned to come back to for sure! Thank you for your ideas to connect with them. The thing I will struggle with the most is letting go of my Mom role. Need to work on that now!

    • Avatar

      Poovanesh Pather

      Thank you for your kind words. Don’t look at it as letting go of the mom role. Just try to be the kind of mom your teen needs. Too many parents sever their bonds with their kids during the teenage years.It’s the time they need your love, support and understanding most.

  • Avatar

    Tracy @ Cleland Clan

    It’s important the remember that the teenage years will be over before you know it. For many families, this will be your last chance to make memories and solidify relationships before the kids go off to live their own lives. Thanks for all the ideas on ways to make the most of these important years.

  • Avatar

    Adree | The Keele Deal

    I love all of these ideas! My kids aren’t yet teenagers but I have teenager siblings and all of these suggestions are great. Playing board games together is one of my favorite ways to connect. We can play, talk and laugh together it’s a great way to make memories and build a relationship.

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