Breaking past the teenager who doesn’t want to engage can be difficult, but it’s important to make the effort. One day the hormonal cloud will be lifted. Here are a few ways you can attempt to bridge the chasm and make your difficult teenager your Valentine.
Plan an activity with them in mind.
Warning: this may require attempting to play a video game or taking an enormous amount of selfies. The bottom line is try to do what interests them.
That being said, it’s important to be aware of how your teen responds to undivided attention or generous gestures. For some, the teenage years are fraught with self-consciousness and an inability to communicate feelings. If this is the case for your young adult, try taking a different approach. Make the day about yourself, as strange as it sounds. Tell your teen that you need help with a certain task, maybe shopping for a new outfit or buying a family member a gift.
Go outside your comfort level.
Your teen likely has you pegged as a run-of-the-mill mom or dad, whose favorite past-time is folding laundry or watching a sports game on TV. Kids come up with the darndest things.
Channel the youngster you were in college or when you and your spouse first met and go outside your comfort zone. Maybe it’s time to put on the old roller blades or dust off your baseball mitt. Of course, it’s important to keep tip #1 in mind when considering going outside your comfort level. If your child has no interest in making a fool of themselves in roller blades and doesn’t have an ounce of eye-hand coordination, you may want to toss ideas of that nature.
Keep it light and fun.
Do not go into Valentine’s Day with the expectation that you and your teen will bare your hearts to each other and address all your problems. If you attempt to force a serious heart-to-heart conversation they will likely shut down. Take the opportunity to invest time into the relationship.
Recognize their love languages.
Do you know the ways your teen feels most loved? There are five love languages, which were coined by Dr. Gary Chapman, author of The Five Love Languages of Children. Here are the five love languages: Quality Time, Physical Touch, Words of Affirmation, Receiving Gifts, and Acts of Service. If you don’t know which of these categories makes your teen feel most loved, ask them to take this quiz. After you have the results, consider how you can incorporate their top love language into your Valentine’s Day plans.
Don’t take it personally if they reject you.
This is part of the developmental process of figuring out who they are. You likely did it to your parents. Your kids’ kids will do it to them. It’s a strange part of the circle of life.
Looking for some fun, creative activities to do with your teen? Consider these options:
-Cook something together
-Hot yoga (like regular yoga but in a room that is 92 to 104 degrees)
-Watch a movie or commit to a movie marathon
–Geocaching (a real-life treasure hunt)
-Make or paint pottery
-Try a new restaurant
I am always available to talk if you would like to discuss more ways you can connect with your teen! Fill out a contact form or give me a call at 661-255-2688.