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Do This One Thing if you are Parenting a Teenager

Learn how one simple habit can transform your relationship with your teenaged children. It’s a must if you are parenting a teenager.

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building trust and respect with your teenager

Like many families, the shift from parenting littles to parenting teens took some adapting in our home. Now that I’ve made the transition from kid to teen with three of my four kids, I’m starting to feel like I know what I’m doing. And there is one simple tip that makes a world of difference!

Parenting Teens: One Simple Way to Connect

Teen hangout time started out almost as an accident. Our oldest child was increasingly independent, but I noticed that she liked to snack in the evening. I missed spending time with her, and so I started hanging out in the kitchen with her during this time.

My husband started to join in. I don’t remember ever having a “this is teen hangout time, let’s schedule it” discussion, but somehow it became a habit.

It’s the best accidental teen parenting decision we’ve ever made!

These days, Teen Hangout Time is scheduled into our days. We sometimes miss it, because life is life. But it’s something my husband and I as well as our teens prioritize, and I’m grateful.

parenting a teenager routine

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What Is Teen Hangout Time?

What is teen hangout time? It’s a very simple way to connect with teens as a parent.

Remember how, when your children were small, you had a bedtime routine? Bath, story, tuck in if you were efficient. Lie on the floor until they fall asleep if you were me. Time consuming, but it made for fond memories. And I read a lot of good kindle books that way!

Gradually, children grow older. At first, you’re relieved. Those bedtime routines are time consuming! But, if you’re like me, you realize your child is almost all grown up and out of the house. These are precious hours of their lives.

That’s why I started hanging out in the kitchen, looking for casual ways to bond with my increasingly independent oldest child. It turned into a teenage bedtime routine that our entire family treasures.

how to communicate with teenagers

How Can I Start A Teen Hangout Time in My House?

Some teens will love this idea, and jump at the opportunity for parent time. If that’s your child, excellent! Put it on the schedule, and treat it as one of the most important parts of your day.

If your teen isn’t the yay! I love my parents! type, start by casually finding opportunities to insert yourselves into their day. Food is very useful if you need a low intensity way to entice your teen to spend a few minutes with you.

These days, our teen hangout is about an hour a day, but we worked up to that length of time. Start small, and extend the time when and where you can.

healthy parent teenager relationship

What Do You Do During Teen Hangout Time?

A lot of the time, we just hang out during teen hangout time. We’ll talk about our days, the teens usually have a snack; sometimes the parents join in.

Sometimes we play board games or go through talking point cards.

Sometimes we get really silly. Sometimes we all lie around on the floor doing not much of anything.

My son and husband often do push-ups and sit-ups at some point. Because.

Teen Hangout Rules

There are only two teen hangout rules:

  1. Come on time, or as close to on time as possible. If there’s a reason you really can’t make it or if you will be significantly late, let people know.
  2. No screens.

Follow those two rules, and you really can’t go wrong. Give it a try. It’s, by far, the best teen parenting choice we’ve made so far. Our teens learn about us, we learn about them, and there’s a lot of laughter in between.

What are your best teen parenting tips?

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MaryAnne at Mama Smiles
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MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

2 thoughts on “Do This One Thing if you are Parenting a Teenager”

  1. We have variations on teen hangout time, and you’re right it is pretty amazing.
    I’d also say car time is a great time to talk with teens.

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