Hello from beautiful Montana:
Today I twittered on the social networks about how important it is to connect with your teen. I advised parents and grandparents to connect at least 5 times a day. Touchpoints are not necessarily actually touching but more of making a point of acknowledging the existence of the other person.
After I had pushed the send button, I remembered how much teens dislike being in the same room as parents. They especially dislike the long eyeball to eyeball conversations that we adults treasure so much.
Touchpoints of Love
Our children need to hear our words. They need the guidance on life lessons we can teach. They need to hear the delight in our voice when we communicate lovingly. They need to hear the pride and admiration we shower on them when they have overcome an adversity or tackled a hard task.
Yes, they do need to hear the love, tenderness and affection in our voice when we are expressing our joy in their being. But sometimes, the best expressions of love and acceptance are non verbal.
Body Language is Communication of Relationships
Teens especially, respond better to non verbal communication or body language. Rather than a long lecture on being a good sport when your team lost, a simple pat on the back is sufficient. A wink, a smile, a back rub, thumbs up, a grin or a clap of applause all signal that we are aware of them and their efforts.
Watch your facial expressions and tone of voice, because saying “I Love You” with a distracted look, gives a much different message.
The opposite of love is not hate, but being ignored. We want to connect with teens to let them know we are aware of their struggles and are on their side. The most powerful message in the world is that you are valued and appreciated.
Look for ways to connect with your teen. It may be the most important work in your life and theirs.
If your teen is having behavior problems, please go to http://www.disciplineyespunishno.com
You will be glad you did.
Judy Helm Wright aka Auntie Artichoke, family relationship author and keynote speaker