As a parent, teacher, mentor, school administrator, aunt, uncle, or any adult – you may have teenagers in your life that you would like to connect with. Perhaps you’d like to talk with them, be accepted by them, and have an over-all positive connection with them. Depending on the teenager, this can be a daunting and potentially impossible endeavor. Every teenager is different, and these may not work on yours – but it’s worth a shot if you’d really like to get into the lives of your teenagers. If you have additional ideas that have worked for you, please add a comment. Thanks!
1. Don’t try to be cool. An adult who is trying to be cool looks like an idiot. You may think you’re being sly and natural. You’re not. So stop trying to be cool for your teenagers. They already think you’re lame – so the sooner you accept that you are (in their eyes) the better. Teenagers tend to prefer an adult who is comfortable with themselves – it puts them at ease. So just relax and be yourself.
2. Stop talking. I get it, you’re nervous. You feel like you need to feel the air…with the sound of your own voice. Relax. Maybe if you’d just chill for a little bit, your teenager might feel comfortable enough to start talking. But it is possible for angsty teens to sit for hours in silence – just to make you feel like an ass. So don’t say anything along the lines of, “We’ll just sit here until you start talking.”
3. Don’t offer them a challenge. Saying something like, “I can sit here all day until you start talking,” will only challenge them to do exactly that. Beware of trying to intimidate them into talking. You’ll only make them trust you less.