If we were to start with the basic presumption that necessity is indeed the mother of all invention, we can easily bridge the gap between the world of marketing and a whole generation of young adults who had jobs – and therefore had spending power – but weren’t yet considered grownups. This group needed a label. This group needed to know what it was called. And this group needed products designed and labelled in ways that befitted this new breed of young adult. We are, of course, talking about the invention of the teenager. Which happened in 1940’s America and caught on in a big way globally in the 50s.
Teenagers have always been associated from the inside with progress, and from the outside with rebellion. Sorta the same thing, really. But this poses a quandary for any parent or guardian who feels their relationship with their teenager is slipping by the wayside. Teenagers want to break away. They don’t want stronger ties to the ways of old.
Your job can be made all the more difficult if you are battling the onset of age-related diseases or any other debilitating condition. For example, many people suffer from PTSD (often later in life), making relationships hard – see getting veterans (VA) disability for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) if you have been affected.
That’s why, today, we’re going to look at simple ways to connect with your teenager.
Show an interest from a safe distance
The easiest way to connect with a teenager – or anyone, for that matter – is to show an interest in their interests. All this requires is a cursory level of research and some honest conversation, mostly involving you asking questions. But be careful. Don’t overdo it. If you knock on your teenager’s bedroom door and stand there in a backwards cap with a skateboard under your arm, professing your previously undisclosed love for online gaming and YouTube channels about online gaming, you’re in sinking sand. No one is going to buy it.
However, asking about new must-have games and asking what it’s all about is one way to get your teenager talking (assuming they’re a gamer, of course). Whatever their interests, you’re a Google search and a few well-rehearsed questions away from flowing conversation.
Let down your guard
Your children already think you are the most tragic case of clueless idiot ever to draw breath, so, why not play into it? We all have years-old photos of hairstyles and fashion disasters that we’re keeping in a shoebox with a padlock. Now’s the time to dog it out. Show some humility and your teenager will open up – at least that’s the hope.
Combining an interest in your son/daughter with letting them see who you were at that age is a great way to see your relationship grow.