Last Updated on September 1, 2023 by Lori Pace
Parents must balance freedom and limits for their teens. Find routines that will help you connect better with your teenagers. You should look out for opportunities to learn a skill or hobby that they are interested in. Keep an open mind and take an active interest in the interests of your teen. Ask questions and show an interest in your teen’s passions. It can be difficult to find ways to connect with 16-18 year olds. Engaging and connecting is the best way to start.
Because each child is unique, our children want to feel special and be given individual attention. It is not possible to create connections on your own. How can we make sure that each of our teens has enough time?
You can use this one-on-one time to help them form their opinions. We can say, “I’m wrestling to make a few choices.” Your thoughts? Our children are now almost adults and want to be treated the same way. We show our kids how much we value their opinions by taking the time to ask them. This is a non-threatening way to communicate with them, as they can see that we value them and show respect.
You can take your kids out for breakfast, dinner, or snacks — only mom or dad. We can listen to what they are thinking, feeling, imagining, and fearing. Boys often fear that they don’t have the skills to become a man. Each of my sons was welcomed into manhood by me, and we had a rite of passage night over a meal. Talking about being a man and God’s help was a great way for them to get to know each other. This rite-of passage acknowledgment is also necessary for daughters.
The Car is a Great Tool to Connect with 16-18 Year Olds
When you run errands, you can take one of your kids along. It’s difficult to get teens to join you when they are this age. They’re independent and won’t want to go with their parents. It’ll be more successful if we focus on one child and not give up on the other. “I’m going shopping.” Get your jacket on and keep me company. You can drive.
You may stop for a quick snack on my way home. This makes it more likely that he will join me in the future. This is a good way to find ways to connect with our 16-18 year olds through times like these. Perhaps we both see something that makes us laugh. Discuss some small things in his life. Wait until he’s ready to let you in.
The most frequent question at this age is “Can I borrow the vehicle?” Teens want to travel everywhere they can. Sometimes, it can be difficult to lend them the car as they have other places to visit. Sharing the car, such as having them drop us at our destination and pick us up later after they’ve finished their work, is a great way for windshield time and to connect. Although you may not have a lengthy conversation, every conversation can be a chance to connect with older teens.
End the Day with Conversation to Connect with 16-18 Year Olds
Late Night Talks
Prepare for late-night conversations and start them. Teens are more open to sharing their feelings when this happens. When you visit their bedrooms before they go to bed, teens are more open to sharing the things that concern them. The darker the room, the more likely it is for deep and honest conversations. We’re exhausted, and it’s unlikely we’ll do it every night. But we can make sure that it happens occasionally.
Sometimes your children hide things from you. They aren’t always truthful, but a part of their hearts wants to see the truth. The pull that tugs at their hearts is strongest late at night, when the house and screens are quiet and the kids can’t fall asleep. Be prepared to listen, encourage, and guide them.
Teach Them New Skills to Connect with 16-18 Year Olds
This is a chance to teach children skills they can use as adults. This is not homework and it should not be treated that way. We will grow closer to our children if we can teach them something in a patient and encouraging manner.
Start by creating a list of tasks that parents can add to their teens’ skill set. Ask your children what they would like to do. These are some options to get you started:
- Check the oil, tire pressure, and change a tire.
- You can use basic hand power tools such as a drill or a saw.
- Grab an atlas and take a map. You can navigate without any GPS. This is particularly helpful if they are in an area where there is no signal.
- Create a weekly meal plan.
- Tax their income on their own.
- Learn how to interact and communicate with customers.
- Establish a budget.
Parents and teens can build trust by connecting with their older teens through the teaching of new skills.
Take an Interest in Their Interests
Teens can have many interests that you can use to connect with them. Perhaps they have interests in writing, art, sewing, or cooking. Register them for a class and invite them to join you. Sometimes, we try to sell our children on things that don’t spark their interests. It’s always best to seek out things that might interest our teens.
Clear the Air
You must make sure that nothing stands between us and our children if we want to have a strong bond. Asking your kids is a great way to get to know them. When we have been trying to connect, we can ask our kids, “Hey! Is there anything about me that you resent?” We need to listen to them, understand their feelings, and not defend ourselves. We are well on our way towards a deeper connection with them when we do this.
Teen years are a time of great change, but there are still many opportunities to connect with older teens. These are some ideas to help you connect with teenagers aged 16-18. You will be happy you did.