Happy Father’s Day to all the dedicated dads celebrating this special occasion, as well as those whose presence is remembered and cherished.
Often, holidays such as Father’s Day present terrific opportunities to build stronger connections with our teenagers and truly discover what is circling around their adolescent emotional quotient. Despite the self-centered “me” nature of holidays, these occasions could provide invaluable insights into your teen’s emotional landscape.
If your teenager is quietly battling stress, depression, or even more severe concerns, this could be your moment to refine your listening skills and create a safe space for them to express their pain.
Here are suggestions to bring you and your teen closer:
Create Cell Phone-Free Dinners
Encourage everyone to put their phones in a basket and genuinely relish each other’s company, harkening back to the “good old days”. Creating a non-judgmental environment is key. Engage them with thoughtful questions, and allow time for their responses. Avoid settling for generic answers like ‘good’, ‘ok’, ‘fine’, etc.
Be a Good Listener, Not a Problem-Solver
Ask about their friends, their relationships, their plans for summer, their feelings about school ending, and their experiences at school over the past year. The goal is to allow them to express their feelings without you attempting to “fix” them.
Teens tend to be reticent if they suspect you might not understand, truly care, are preoccupied, or are seeking an immediate solution. What they need is an empathetic ear.
Initiate Meaningful Car Rides
Make your car rides together radio and cell phone free. Use this as an additional avenue to initiate meaningful conversations based on the suggestions above.
Engage in Physical Activities Together
Incorporate a walk or other physical activities into your routine. These activities can provide a conducive environment for your teen to share their feelings and thoughts. Remember, being non-judgmental and a good listener is crucial.
Take Action Today
You can find many more helpful strategies in the articles we’ve put together for you at www.abrighterday.info. Join our free mailing list and ensure your teen, and indeed all teens across America, have access to our free crisis texting information.
Simply text BRIGHTER to 741741, and your teen can engage in a confidential text conversation with a trained professional within minutes, available 24/7 in all 50 states. And yes, this valuable service is free.
Happy Father’s Day! Enjoy this special time and make the most of it.
Don't be passive with your teen.
Their life depends on it.
For any questions, please call 510-206-1103
or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.