These are just a few gentle reminders on staying connected to your teen. As they enter adolescent, parents are no longer the center of their universe and we often need to adjust our approach.


  • Do connect with your teen each day.
  • Do expect parenting to be difficult.
  • Do be honest and direct with your teen.
  • Do practice active & reflective listening.
    • Listen as much as you speak.
    • Ask your child if they want feedback.
    • Use “I feel” statements.
  • Do parent! But choose your battles.
  • Do set limits and hold your boundaries.
  • Do show your teen support.
  • Do be consistent with your family values.
  • Do be flexible and keep a sense of humor.
  • Do acknowledge positive actions.
  • Do stop, be present, and listen when your child talks to you.
  • Do apologize if you are wrong.
  • Do know your child’s friends and their parents.
  • Do find shared interests whether it is baking together, taking a walk, watching a movie or going shopping.
  • Do connect over a television series that you watch together each week or try a game night.
  • Do have family dinners. This can be challenging with conflicting schedules but make it a priority a few times a week.
  • Do carpool can be a great way to talk to your child as well as a way to get to know their friends.
  • Do limit screen time for the whole family (parents included) in the evenings so that everyone makes more of an effort to connect.


  • Don’t make promises you cannot keep.
  • Don’t guilt trip. It will only hurt your relationships with your teen.
  • Don’t apologize for parenting.
  • Don’t try to be your child’s friend. They need you to be their parent.
  • Don’t feel guilty when you must say no.
  • Don’t accept disrespect.
  • Don’t expect your kids to always like you or appreciate you.
  • Don’t try to control everything.
  • Don’t try to have serious conversations first thing in the morning or right before bed.
  • Don’t give consequences for negative behavior that you don’t plan to follow through with.

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