This time of year is for family, friends, and celebration. It’s a time when there’s perhaps more focus on relationships, expressing how much you care, and telling someone you love them. Although there might also be a focus on gifts and material goods, often there’s a note or card accompanying a gift that expresses love and appreciation. So, although gifts can sometimes take center stage, so can relationships. And this time of year is when children and teens are out of school while parents have time off work. Because of this, it might be a great time to spend one-on-one time with your teen and deepen your parent-teen relationship. This article will provide some suggestions for taking advantage of the holiday break and creating a deeper parent-teen relationship.
You might already have a wonderful relationship with your teen. If so, this would be an opportunity to continue that loving relationship. For many parents and teens, however, there are issues of a distancing relationship. During adolescence, teens tend to distance themselves from their parents and the rest of the family. They are looking for themselves in their peers, mentors, and those they admire. This is the stage of life when teens are uncovering who they are and who they will become. The distancing away from parents can create concerns within the parent-teen relationship.
For instance, one concern might be trust. Trust requires deepening the connection between two people, and this is true for a parent-teen relationship as well. Yet, if the parent-teen relationship is becoming more and more distant, then issues of trust may arise. Also, if there were any events of betrayal, trauma, or abuse in a family’s history, then it’s likely that the trust between a teen and parent has been compromised. In order to rebuild that trust, the parent-teen relationship also needs rebuilding.
If you and your teen have some time off this holiday season, check out the following suggestions. Perhaps one of these may be of interest to you and facilitate a close relationship.
For mothers and their daughters
- Go shopping together
- Take a trip together
- Put together a family collage or scrapbook
- Cook or bake some goodies for the family together
- Sit down for a long conversation about the good old days with the family
- Take a walk in nature together
For fathers and their sons
- Go fishing together
- Play a game of toss and catch together
- Go out for a walk together
- Work out at the gym together
- Sit down for a long conversation about your teen years and share them with your son.
If the relationship between you and your teen is beginning to feel distant, perhaps one of the suggestions above can help bring you closer. Keep in mind that it’s common for teens to pull away from their parents and siblings at this time. Don’t take it personally. Instead, work on building your relationship together by spending quality time together this holiday season.