Many times parents call me to say that their teen is distant. They no longer talk or connect and are spending more time in their room and less with them. For parents this can be heartbreaking thinking that our children are pulling away from us. We spent so many hours as they were young comforting them and wiping away tears only to see them now close the bedroom door on us and shut us out.

The reality is its not easy for your teen either. Behind the bedroom door they are hurting. They miss the relationship they once had. They wish that you could just solve the problems as you did when they were young. Now the problems are more complex, emotionally harder and at times more embarrassing to talk about. Once they start shutting the door they also have no idea how to open it up again even though they long for that relationship.

Your teen wants to connect, they do want a relationship and as the parent its up to you to fix it. So often the parent says Im waiting on them, they shut me out they need to come back. As parents we need to take the lead. We need to put away our own hurt and pain and work to fix it.

Schedule time with your child, one on one and out of the house. Lunch, breakfast, rock climbing, hiking are all good. Don’t ask questions. Let your teen lead the conversation and as much as we want to solve their problems, dont. Resist the urge to give advice. Some times we just need to listen without judgement. Think of your own life and relationships. Sometimes we want to vent to our partner or friend and just need to be heard. Your teen needs the same thing. There is a time and place for advice and helping to problem solve and there also needs to be a place for just listening. Don’t be worried if at first your teen just talks about surface level stuff, they are testing the waters. On the flip side don’t be surprised if they come out with something shocking, again they are testing the water. We are all busy but our relationships are whats important in life. Lets make time for them.

If you need more help for your teen please reach out