Hey momma, I see you.
Struggling to connect with your teenage son. I get it. It’s hard.
You feel like you have the plague.
He barely talks to you. When he does, all you get is Fine. Sure. Whatever.
And if it’s more than one word, it’s usually “Stop asking so many questions,” in a tone that can leave you feeling like you’re back in grade school when you were the last to be picked for kickball in P.E.
Or you get looked at like you’re an imbecile.
Who is this man-child?
Who eats everything in sight and gains no weight!
He, who doesn’t want me to touch him . . .
Where did the little boy who held my hand crossing the street go? The little boy who came to me to kiss his boo boos or show me the frog he caught?
Oh how I long for those days . . .
But I’m here to tell you how to connect with him. It might be for a brief moment. Or it could lead to a half hour discussion. It might possibly require some homework on your part, but I promise the payoff is great. And very rewarding.
You must learn about something he is into.
Whether it be football, baseball, basketball, soccer, tennis, cars, science, stamp collecting, hunting, fishing, martial arts, video games—whatever it is.
Now, I know it may seem like a daunting task. But you won’t have to learn EVERYTHING. I assure you, he will engage. Maybe not every time, because, hey, I don’t always feel like talking. But if you show some knowledge about what he is interested in, he WILL want to talk about it.
Luckily for me, this happened naturally with my son. And I only realized today what has happened over the years, and what I was doing naturally to get him to talk to me without even knowing it.
When he was about two-years-old, we bought a Pontiac GTO; I have pictures of him standing on the seat “steering.” This has turned into our “thing” and he eventually bought his own GTO. So to get him to talk, I ask about his car. I tease him that I can race him and beat him. He’s insistent that I can’t. So we talk about how if the heads on his car were on my car, my car would be cool. Guess what? I have no clue what that means. But he loves to tell me things about his car and my car and how things work. Sometimes I understand what he says, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes he explains it, sometimes he gets frustrated at my inability to understand the complexities of engines and transmissions and torque and horse power.
But we bond.
He feels like I have an interest in “his” stuff. And he likes “teaching” me things, which makes him feel proud and grown up and smart.
And I’ve just spent some time with this man-child that I didn’t think I could get.
That’s a win-win.
So do it momma. Learn the thing.
You’ll be happy you did.