Middle and high school years present many challenges, changes and decisions for young people. It’s also a time when children question whether or not they can talk to their parents about personal issues to get the advice and support they need. When teens think their parents don’t understand them, they start to pull away, slowly creating a gap in teen/parent communication.
That’s normal as teenagers move toward adulthood, but parents still matter, and kids benefit from having strong relationships with their parents. However, children also should have relationships with other caring and responsible adults.
A Sign Of Strength
Inviting other adults to get to know your kids isn’t a sign of weakness, but strength. Here are a few tips to help parents identify positive adult influences to support and guide themselves and their kids:
Check in-Talk with your children about the adult family members who are already important to them, as well as adults in the community and other places they spend time.
Talk with caring adults- Encourage adults you know and trust to spend more time with your children. Offer specific invitations for connections based on mutual interests.
Encourage connections-Encourage your children to seek insights and encouragement from other caring adults when they’re facing important questions or decisions.
Connect in new places-If your children don’t have a strong network of caring adults, consider helping them find activities and places where they can build new relationships.
Thank those who take time-Notice and thank those adults who make special efforts to be there for your children.