When my kids were younger, it seemed like they always wanted my attention. We could do just about anything together, and they would call it their ‘best day ever.’ Remember those days? Me too!
But now that they’re teenagers, it’s me who has to make the effort to spend time with them. In the blink of an eye it’s gone from them begging for my attention to me begging for theirs.
If you’re like me and want to stay active and engaged in your teen’s life, don’t despair. Try these tips and you’ll see an improvement in your quality time before you know it:
Step away from the screen. Smart phones. E-Readers. Computers. TVs. Tablets. You name it and in this day and age we’ve got a screen that will distract us. No matter what your vice (mine is my iPhone), it’s important to put it away while you’re interacting with your teen. If you’re trying to spend quality time with your child, then turn off your favorite tv show, walk away from Facebook, put down the Kindle, and leave your phone on silent.
Now, this doesn’t mean that the two of you can’t share some screen time by watching television together or enjoying a game of Words With Friends on your smart phones. What it means is that when you are sharing time with your child, don’t let your personal screen use get in the way. I know your kids might be texting or tweeting while you hang out with them, but set a good example and show your teens that you prioritize time with them over time with a screen.
Use your social skills. When we interact with other adults, we typically use good manners. Right? We look them in the eye when we’re having a conversation, we listen attentively, we smile, and we don’t interrupt. Why then, do we think it’s okay to abandon our social skills when spending time with our teens? For instance, when I’m doing housework and my child walks in the room and speaks to me sometimes I don’t even look up. I just answer them and continue doing my chores. It’s as if all I know about etiquette doesn’t apply to my interactions with my own kids. And quite frankly that’s sad. [Read more...]