It’s helpful to look for new ways to connect with our tweens. At the same time, however, we suggest parents take the pressure off – look for natural opportunities for connection, instead of demanding your tween joins you in the moments you’ve designed. Driving to practice, shopping, cooking dinner – these seemingly mundane activities can be powerful moments of connection.
‘Talk less, listen more’ is a great goal when parenting tweens and teens, especially when our aim is listening to understand, rather than to respond. Remember things your tween tells you and weave them back into a conversation later. Ask questions, but not in an interrogation sense – in a ‘Tell me more about that’ sense. Meet your tween where they’re at – and that place may be technology. Be interested in what they’re doing, and ask them for help. ‘Show me how’ is a really powerful connection tool. Our young people love to be the experts once and a while. And have fun – play games, instigate a spontaneous dance party, watch funny movies. Laughter is very unifying.