5 Ways to Connect With Your Teens

Jennifer Wagner has been working with the Internet and Millennials for years, including running computer schools for kids. Along with publishing her own successful blog Jennifer also writes for the Examiner’s NY Parenting Teens, Momtourage and is part of the Yahoo Motherboard.  Jennifer has generously agreed to write a guest post for Understanding Teenagers about 5 ways parents can connect with their teens.

At least in my home, having long conversations with my teens never began with “How was your day?” or “What happened in school today?”  Those questions were actually conversation stoppers, not starters. However, I found that if was well versed in things they liked, such as their favorites in pop culture and technology, I could talk to them about those things for hours. Once you open the door to conversation, you never know what else might come out. Here are some examples of how to connect with your teens through pop culture and technology:

1. Watch their favorite TV shows

This is one of the best things you can do. Because television series are continuing, this can lead to ongoing conversations that can last for months or even years. You might also discover some great TV series that you never would have tried. (See Why Lost is the Best TV Show to Watch With Your Teen and 20 Best TV Shows for Parent / Teen Bonding).

2. Introduce your teens to movies from before their time that you know will love

There are so many great teen movies from the eighties that your teens would love and so many classic movies from throughout the years that they are ready to see now. Even if they prefer to watch them with their friends, you can still have great discussions with your teens about the movies the next day. (See 10 Movies to Recommend to Your Teens from Before they were Born and 75 Classic Movies Teens Should See ).

3. Share music and video games with Guitar Hero or Rock Band

The Guitar Hero and Rock Band series of video games have been one of the games to ever bring teens and parents together. Many teens first discovered classic rock through these games. Later versions began including new rock songs, which parents could then learn. An entire family can play at once as different band members. (See Guitar Hero and Rock Band Video Games: Teens Discover Classic Rock! )

4. If your teens are fans of young adult (YA) books, don’t assume you are too old to enjoy them.

I’ve become a big fan. I devoured the Harry Potter and Twilight series and just read and couldn’t put down The Hunger Games, the first book in the new hot series about to become a movie.

5. Communicate with your teens through the type of technology they prefer.

If they prefer to receive text message than phone calls when they are out, they will be more apt to reply if you text them. If they prefer IM to email, the same. (See Text Messaging with Your Teens ).

If you liked these suggestions, please check out the rest of my blog, Connect with your Teens through Pop Culture and Technology.

Image by Lubs Mary.

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