Today’s teens and tweens
(almost teens) were born with
technology at their fingertips.
But technology can create a false
sense of connection. Kids may have
500 friends on Facebook, but no one
there when they really need to talk to
someone. Talking with your teen is
more important than ever.
You can keep the lines of
communication open by talking to
your teen or tween before a family
crisis, says Layall Dleikan, a family
therapist with Family Services of
Central Alberta, in Red Deer.
“You don’t always have to talk about
Share your teen’s interests
the hard stuff— but you can create the
connection. Then, if they have a tough
issue, they know they can talk to you.”
She adds: “I’m a huge believer in the
simple things. Driving, for example, is
a magic tool. You’re both in the car and
you don’t have to look directly at each
other.” It can be a good time to have
those tough talks.
Sharing what your teen is into also
helps build connections.
“If your 14-year-old son likes hockey
and you’re into museums, going to a
museum won’t work. Take him to a
game,” she suggests.
You can create rituals and routines.
Kids live for special and regular
moments of connection: a Sunday bike
ride or watching a favourite TV show
together. Again, make the rituals about
your kids’ favourite things—not yours.
Dleikan says 90 per cent of a parent’s
job is listening.
Connecting with teens and tweens
How to keep the lines of communication open
Your child may have lots of friends on Facebook, but connecting with your teen is more
important than ever.