Staying Connected With Your Teen

When they stiff arm and reach for you at the same time

When kids become teens, they start acting like they don’t need us. If we don’t understand why they’re doing this, and figure out ways to respond gracefully, we risk building resentment in the relationship.

It helps to understand that teens who push us away may be merely expressing a normal developmental stage in the best way they know how. After all, it’s their job to become their own person, and become more responsible for their lives. When parents find ways to keep love alive, even during this sometimes tense stage of life, they have their best shot at helping their kids launch confidently in just a few years.

Check out this video (made in partnership with Family Life Canada) to learn more.


Building Security in Teens from FamilyLife Canada on Vimeo.

The most important skill parents can develop to respond to their kids’ “stiff-arm” is to react calmly and rationally. What’s one thing you do to stay calm when your kids act disrespectfully? Close your eyes and picture it. Then practice it in your mind by picturing yourself utilizing your calming strategy during a variety of disrespectful teen behaviors. Now you’re a little more ready to respond respectfully, even when your kids don’t. Your best shot at helping your teen grow to be respectful and secure, is to stay connected even when it’s hard!

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