“I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person.” – Audrey Hepburn
Forget the fact that it was Audrey who made this statement and just absorb it. You could replace “people” with “teenagers” in this quote and it becomes a more fitting intro to what this article is really about – how to communicate with your teenage son or daughter. If your teenager is like my son, I can barely pull two words out of him.
Me: “How was school today?”
Me: “Learn anything new today?”
Son: “Not really.”
Although I barely get a response, I make it a routine to ask him just to let him know that I am always paying attention. It is my way of saying “I love you” without actually saying it. eHow.com has some great tips on connecting with your teenage son and I have used them all with my own MILF Momma twist that includes fun and family.
The tips on the site are wonderful because it gives you the basics.
#1 Respond instead of react.
#2 Make your home a fun place to be.
#3 Have regular outings for the two of you.
#4 Foster individuality.
#5 Show affection and tell him, “I love you.”
Here is an example of how I interpreted one of these tips (namely, #2 – Fun is the name of the game):
As part of our drive home after school last week, I, of course, asked him my regular questions. He expects it and this allows him to get into his comfort zone with me. By this I mean, he already expects us to engage in some kind of conversation during the car ride home. My son’s favorite subject is Science. Therefore, he started a casual conversation about the Kia Soul commercial, commenting on how cool it was to teleport through time. We then talk about how odd it was that first, there were hamsters driving, and secondly, how the brand has decided to add an exclamation point to the car’s name. It is not just a Kia Soul, it is a Kia Soul!
This got me thinking of a new game that we could play. Have you ever played “Slug Bug”? If not, here is a brief explanation – If you spotted a Volkswagen Beetle on the road, you would get to slug someone else. Since I would not want my martial arts-trained teenager to slug my delicate nature, I told my son, “Let’s play the Kia Soul game. Each time someone spots the car, they have to yell – Soul!”
We played this game the whole way home with the score at 1 to nothing, teenager. Of course, I challenged him to play again to redeem myself. I came up with the game and I lost! Bummer. In any case, my teenage son is looking forward to competing with me at this exclusive new game of ours.
#Lessonslearned: It does not take much to entertain and engage a teenager. Just a few minutes of your undivided attention.
Stay tuned for next week’s score – hoping to tie it up!
Image courtesy of http://br0co.deviantart.com/art/I-m-hamster-powered-129946216.