The single best piece of advice someone gave me for parenting teens: Drop everything when your teenager wants to talk.
I wish I could take credit for this great advice, but the credit goes to Maria Bailey. I heard her speak at a Disney Social Media Moms On The Road event in 2012. At the time, my kids were just twelve and nine, but her words stuck with me.
When your teenager wants to talk, drop everything and listen. And look them in the eyes when they talk to you.
Following her advice has made a huge difference in my relationship with my teens.
It isn’t often that teenagers will initiate a conversation.
So when your teenagers want to talk, you need to pay attention.
It doesn’t matter if they are talking about school, their social life, or some video game you have never heard of and don’t understand.
When Your Teenager Wants to Talk, You Listen
If you are talking on the phone, end the conversation abruptly and hang up.
If you are watching television, hit the off button.
If you are on your laptop, shut the lid.
If you are looking at your social media, stop and put it face down on the table.
Because if you don’t, your teenager will notice that you are even the slightest bit distracted, and they will walk away.
And you will miss out on an opportunity to open the lines of communication and learn more about the amazing human being you have living in your home.
Read all 50 pieces of advice I shared in honor of my 50th birthday.