Teenagers don’t always make it easy to love on them; in fact, they can sometimes make it really, really difficult. But I don’t know a single teenager who doesn’t want to feel loved by their parents (even if they don’t admit it!). It’s one thing to say ‘I love you’ to them at bedtime or when they’re walking out the door, but teens really respond to the moments of connection and consideration from their parents — the things you do to show them you love them. They want to feel like their opinions are valued, they want to feel appreciated for trying, and they want to know you love them unconditionally.
Here are ten simple ways to show your tweens & teens you love them (because we all can use a reminder!):
- Ask them about something that is important to them (the sport they’re playing, a subject at school, their best friend, the music they listen to, etc.!). Listen intently when they talk.
- Send them a nice text message. Even a funny meme will do!
- Think of something they’re doing that is currently making you proud of them and tell them. (Maybe it’s their humour. Maybe you’ve noticed how kind they are to their friends. Maybe they’re working really hard in school, etc.)
- Say you’re sorry when you’ve messed up. The ‘repair’ is where the magic happens in parenting.
- Let them overhear you say something nice about them to someone else. Also, if another adult compliments your child, share that feedback with them.
- Put your phone down when they walk in the room. Give them your attention. (Even if they don’t want to talk to you, they like knowing you are available.)
- Thank them for helping out, or hanging with the family, or being kind to their sibling, etc.
- Acknowledge that what they’re going through is not always easy. Adolescence can be really tough!
- Just because… buy them their favourite chocolate, or ice cream or cereal or protein bar… whatever!
- Tell them you love them just as they are. (Maybe even after they’ve messed up.)
For more tips and information about tweens & teens, and to hear what the experts have to say, sign up for my Tweens & Teens e-course!