It never ceases to amaze me how much can be learned if we would just take a moment to ask and then really listen to the answer.
I had the really cool opportunity to ask a few teenagers what they thought of the whole idea of having a set appointment with their parent.
Their answers may surprise some of you. I know they surprised me.
I thought they would laugh at the idea of spending “on purpose” time with their parent. On the contrary! The ones I spoke with thought it was a great idea. Actually, they seemed to yearn for one on one time with their parent.
The words I heard them say when I asked them to give me a single answer to their thoughts of having an appointment were fun, smart, good, important, bonding, and even the word “relationship”. No joke! These teens thought that having one on one time where they don’t compete with work or siblings or your smart phone was something that they would be very interested in.
One teenage boy said that to have his dad make an appointment with him would be “AWESOME. He works so much that I don’t see him a whole lot. An appointment would show he really cares because I already know he can provide for me.”
Another teenager said “I think an appointment would help me feel more comfortable telling my parents stuff. I don’t always want to, but if was just her and me then I think it would be easier to talk to them. You know, open up more.”
I asked what some cons would be to this whole idea of having an appointment with their parent. The only one they could come up with is that it might be embarrassing if their friends saw them in public together.
Now don’t let that be discouraging. All teens go through a time when they don’t want to be seen with their parent. It has nothing to do with you but everything to do with your teen’s budding sense of independence. It’s actually healthy. If your teen is in this stage, allow your appointments to be in a place where there is a small chance of running into their friends. Friday night at the theatre might not be a good idea!
Our kids want us to know them and they want to know us. And I believe very strongly that these appointments could be a game changer in our relationship with our teens.
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