Simple Ways to Heap Some Lovin’ Onto Your Adolescents
Breaking into the life of a pre-teen or teen and having meaningful conversations can be tough. But it is important for their well-being as well as their feeling of belonging within their nuclear family and in the larger body of Christ.
Below are several simple ways we have found to give our adolescents an extra dose of lovin’ on any given day.
1. Conjure up a Special Snack
You may not be able to pull this off every day, but every once in a while, have a scrumptious, special snack waiting for them as they walk in the door after school. Even better? Take it fresh out of the oven so they’re greeted with the aroma of your love 😉 . Or on a cold, wintery day, nothing says “I love you and I’m thinking about you” like a steaming mug of hot chocolate with their favorite toppings.
Respect Their Need to Unwind
Let’s face it, teens today definitely have more pressures in the public school life than we did. Sure, we’d argue that the actual subject material has been watered down, but the social pressures to conform (or to not), the varying belief systems, the difficulty in wading through societal expectations to find their own voice can all weigh heavily on them each day.
So, before jumping into a meaningful mom-cares-about-you chat, give them some space to unwind. Perhaps they need half an hour of TV or a video game or maybe just some quiet moments to themselves. It gives them time to process everything that happened during their day and they will be more likely to respond favorably to your inquiry about how it went.
Ask Meaningful Questions
A general question will bring a general answer. Try to ask questions that really show you care about the details of their day. You might ask:
What was the best part of your day?
What was something that didn’t go well?
How did a particular test/assignment go?
How did it go with a particular friend or teacher that there were difficulties with?
And then let them talk. If their answer is still one syllable, ask them what they mean by that.
Ask for Prayer Requests
One of the main evidences of my parents’ love for me was that I knew they prayed for me every day. A quick check for prayer requests (for themselves or friends) as they go out the door in the morning can be a huge boost to their confidence for the day. They know they have a mama who loves them and they are on your mind.
Show Interest in Their Friends
Ask how you can pray for their friends. Due to this being an ongoing conversation in their house, my pre-teen niece recently initiated and pulled her mom aside to ask her to pray for a friend who was depressed and suicidal. Wow! What a connection to have with your daughter. And the girls can only benefit by having a loving adult involved in the situation!
Snatch them out of school for a quick picnic lunch. Take them on special dates or date nights to send the message that you want to spend time with them and you are making it a priority in your busy schedule. Do something special on their birthday, even taking them out of school for a special date with mom.
There are so many ways to show your adolescents that you are crazy about them. What are some things you do to express your appreciation for the wonderful children God has given to you?