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Quality Time with your Teen
It's sometimes difficult to find ways to be involved with your teen without totally intruding in his/her life. You want to talk to them, they don't want to talk to you (most of the time anyway). I've found the best way to connect with my teenage daughter is to enter her world and do the things she likes to do. There's a saying that if you want to understand your child's world you have to play with them, no matter how old they are.
You don't always have to be even directly interacting with your teen in order to be involved in their world. Just being around the same influences they are, and taking an interest in their activities, lets them know that you care and that you understand what they deal with from day to day. Then later, at home, you can talk about the things you have experienced together. It's a great way to connect. Here are some ways my teenage daughter and I have spent time together:
As you can see, not all of these activities involve me actually talking to and hanging out with my daughter. You know as well as I do that our teens don't always want us hanging around them. I'm happy for the time I do get to spend with my daughter, for the little time I have left with her. When we have things in common my daughter is much more likely to talk to me and share her feelings with me. When I don't know what she experiences, it is very hard for me to relate what she is going through. These shared experiences have opened up many more opportunities for us to share and connect that we wouldn't otherwise have.
Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and mom who is the author of What's for Dinner?, an e-cookbook containing more than 250 quick easy dinner ideas. For more recipes, organizing tips, home decorating, crafts, holiday hints, and more, visit Creative Homemaking at http://www.creativehomemaking.com.