Of course, he said, “No. I don’t feel like it.”
I thought, “Seriously!? But I made time for this today!!” But instead, I asked again, “C’mon, bud, you sure?”
To which he replied without hesitation, “I’m sure mom. I don’t feel like it.”
This went on every afternoon for about a week and a half. Finally, one afternoon, he walked in and said, “Mom, I’m ready to play that game now. Will you do it with me?” What!? I had no time and was exhausted, but I stopped and let something else.
That’s often how it works with our teens. Their timeline usually doesn’t align with ours. It’s ok. The important thing is to not give up.
Your consistent interest over time will communicate that you care who they are and what matters to them. Even if they never take you up on the offer, they’ll remember the invitation.
Tip #3: IF THEY CHOOSE TO TALK, LISTEN.
Don’t fix. Don’t correct. Don’t teach or criticize. Just TAKE IT IN and LISTEN!
It’s easy to get worried and feel like NOW is the only time I have to pour all of my adult wisdom into this crazy teenage brain.
But wait!! Get curious, and listen.
You can always go back. I trust that you will follow-up. That’s part of our job as parents. But, if we want teenagers to listen to us, we need to learn how to listen to them.
Tip #4: STAY PRESENT
For me, it’s turning off my device, telling the to-do list to wait, and quieting my fears for the future.
Give yourself permission to simply be together.
- Listen to the music.
- Tell a joke.
- Sit down and watch a movie.
- Just be.
If you feel like nothing is working, don’t give up. The final tip is something you can do regardless of how your teenager responds. That’s why I love it so much.