Your Teen Wants a Better Relationship with You

If you asked parents, “Do you want a better relationship with your teen?”, probably close to 100% of them would answer, “YES!”

If you asked teens, “Do you want a better relationship with your parents?” probably close to 100% of them would answer, “I dunno!” 🤣😂🤣

But, from my experience ALL teens want a better relationship with their parents-yes, even yours.

“Your teen wants YOU to connect with them. Stop waiting around for them to connect with you.”

Ben Pugh

How do I know this, because when parents start fixing their relationship with their teens, their teens start doing better.

The problem is, most parents operate from the false belief that “My teen wants nothing to do with me!”

If you think your teen wants nothing to do with you, you’ll only see obstacles keeping you from the relationship you want. BUT, if you trust that your teen wants YOU to connect with them, you will start seeing all the opportunities for you to create the relationship you want.

Ben Pugh

Tip #1 Make it Fun

Okay, you know me. If it ain’t fun, I think it’s pretty much a waste of time. Okay, maybe not with everything, but adults have a serious problem with sucking the fun out of everything.

If you want a better relationship with your teen, make your relationship with them fun.

There are lots of different ways you can do this. First off, you could come to IMPACT Live and do fun activities with your teen, like river rafting, laser tag, team building challenges, and other things.

Bottom line is, one of the indicators that your relationship with your teen is healthy is if you enjoy being with your teen, and bonus if they enjoy being with you.

When I was a principal, the more fun we could make school the better. If school was fun the teachers enjoyed being there, the students enjoyed being their, and we got more done.

If your relationship with your teen is fun, you’ll enjoy your teen more and they’ll enjoy you more, and your relationship will grow.

Tip #2 Build a Values Based Relationship with Your Teen

This one’s a little deep and a little advanced. It’s something that I teach inside of the Impact Parenting Course and inside the membership.

If you want a healthy relationship with your teen, find ways to connect with them on their values.

“When you start building values based relationships, you’ll better know and understand your teen exactly as they are, and this will help you truly value your teen for who they are.”

Ben Pugh

Building values based relationships comes easy to little kids. I remember my oldest, back when he was only 2 or 3, sitting on my lap, watching football with me, yelling for the same team that I was. Later he started coming to football practice with me, as like a 4 or 5 year old. Just to watch and to hangout with dad.

I promise you, he didn’t care about football. He cared about me and identified football as a value that he could connect with me over.

If you want a healthy and happy relationship with your teen, practice building values based relationships. This will open up lots of doors, like values based teaching, values based consequences, and other components of values. You can learn all about values inside the membership.

Tip #3 Don’t Take Things Personally

This one is huge.

I remember learning this as a foster parent, then again as a dad to my teens.

Once as a foster dad, we had a foster teen make some pretty serious accusations against us. Not only were the allegations not true, but they were a personal attack against us to try to get returned home without having to work the program from our foster organization.

The thing was, the accusations came from a foster teen who we thought we had really connected with. We thought we had a pretty decent relationship with them.

I remember Deb and I talking and wondering where we had gone wrong. How we had hurt this teen so badly that they were willing to lie about us.

At the end of the day, it was nothing personal. It was just this teen trying to get what they wanted, no matter the cost.

The same is true for your teen. They’re trying to do what they can to get what they want in life. They’re behavior is not a reflection of you.

If you take things personally, you set yourself up to be hurt and disappointed.

Instead, I like to think, “They’re doing their best.” Or, “What skills are they lacking, and how can I help them develop those skills?”

If you can shift your mindset from the victim to the hero mindset, you’ll find that you don’t take as many things as personal.

Tip #4 Be the Parent of Your Dreams

I know I say this all the time, but if you want a better, more healthy and happy, relationship with your teen, BE YOU, and the best version of you.

Think about it, if you want your teen to connect with you, you have to actually be you. If you’re pretending to be someone you’re not, your teen will never truly get to know you.

If you want a healthier relationship with your teen, be the healthiest version of you.

If you want a happier relationship with your teen, be the happiest version of you.

Tip #5 Get Out of Your Comfort Zones Together

This might be one of the most under utilized parenting hacks ever, and it makes sense, because if you and your teen are like most human beings, you’ve actually been designed to seek comfort, so there are probably lots of opportunities that you’re missing.

Also, there is power in a parent and teen who are willing to struggle together, work together, and be vulnerable together. Some of the most tender and impactful moments I’ve ever experienced with my teens were in times when neither of us were comfortable, whether it’s a midnight “Dad, can I talk to you” or if it’s a moment when we’re both doing something that’s pushing us to grow.

This is one of the reasons I’m hosting my summer event, IMPACT Live. This event will help both you and your teen get out of your comfort zones. One of the reasons this makes for a more health and happy relationship is because of the happiness and pleasure that comes from accomplishing something outside of your comfort zone.

Imagine the opportunities for connection while you and your teen are floating down a river, trying to safely navigate some exciting rapids. Or, what about working together to complete a challenge that takes focus, effort, and team work? It’s little moments like this, while you’re both vulnerable, safe, and out of your comfort zones that you will develop a deeper and healthier relationship with your teen.

Recently on a coaching call with one of the moms inside of IMPACT, a mom told me about how uncomfortable it was to question her old parenting ways and start parenting in a completely new way. She talked about how awkward, and even imperfect her efforts were, and yet how much better her relationship has been with her son.

I’m telling you, if you want a healthier and happier relationship with your teen, find ways to get both of you out of your comfort zones in a way that’s fun, exciting, and safe.

And, if you want all the planning done for you, and you want the help of me and other parents just like you, come join us at IMPACT Live!

Bonus Tip Empowering Conversations

Lately on a, “Empower the Teens” kick.

If you want a bonus tip for building a healthy and happy relationship with your teen, have empowering conversations.

Now, these aren’t simply just talking to your teen. Yes, talking to your teen is a good way to empower them, but there’s a little more to it than that.

Here are some simple guidelines you can follow to have empowering conversations with your teen:

  1. Listen.
    • Seriously, this one is obvious, right? But, if you’re anything like me, and tons of other parents, you know how hard it can be to actually shut your mouth and turn on your ears and listen.
    • This is a powerful place to start. Don’t underestimate the empowering nature of simply listening.
  2. Ask empowering questions.
    • This one is not so obvious, but it’s equally important as listening.
    • One of the mistakes that could keep you from having empowering conversations is doing too much telling and too little asking.
    • Empowering questions can be as simple as:
      • What do you think?
      • What’s a benefit/disadvantage to this?
      • What do you think would be fair . . . ?
  3. Create collaborative/creative conversations.
    • One of my favorite forms of empowering conversations with my teens is planning a fun family activity.
    • Find ways to create these conversations with your teen so they get the opportunity to practice having an opinion, voicing their opinion, and taking their opinion to the next step.
    • Sometimes, if my teen hate school or a class or something, I might start a collaborative/creative conversation by simply asking, “If you hate this class so much, what other options can you think of?”
    • Let them have an opinion, voice their opinion, and act on their opinion.
  4. Practice, practice, practice.
    • In the beginning, find ways to practice several times a week.
    • Soon, empowering conversations will become second nature.
  5. Trust your teen
    • One of the things that makes empowering conversations work is trusting your teen.
    • Too many parents pretend to have these conversations, but they aren’t willing to let go of their power to empower their teen.
    • Let your teen have opinions that you disagree with. Let them make mistakes so they can learn from themselves.

Step 1 – Go get your tickets.

Step 2 – Go highlight June 20-22 on your calendar.

Step 3- Come have the time of your life connecting with your teen!

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