Advice for parents, from a teen: connect with your kids in a Softub

Ok, listen. My friends don’t know I’m writing this. Honestly, I’d never hear the end of it if they found out. But I’m going to do all of you parents a favor.

You want to know how to talk to your teen, right? I mean, I get it. We’re quiet. We don’t tell you what’s going on in our lives. It probably seems like just yesterday that we were following you around the house, and now when we’re home you never see us because we’re in our room with the door closed.

You’re worried about our grades, our friends, our futures. I get it. And, truth? We appreciate it. We’ve got a lot on our minds. We just … don’t always know how to start the conversation.

So here’s my suggestions. Don’t push it. Just be there. Talking to us face-to-face is awesome, but so is just hanging out side-by-side and being ready to listen. You know where a great place to do this is? The family hot tub.

In the hot tub, there aren’t any distractions. It’s a great place for conversation. Just make sure you put away your phone or your tablet so you can really hear what we’re trying to say, alright?

You know how the hot tub relaxes you? It does the same for us. And when we’re relaxed, we’re more likely to open up to you. Don’t come at us with a secret agenda – we’ll spot that a mile away. It’s all about spending quality time together and being open.

Here’s another idea. If you want to get to know our friends, let us invite them over for a hot tub party, or make it a standing invitation for after the game, after school dances, whatever. Show an interest in us, in our lives. We like that. (Even if we act like we don’t.)

So. That’s the low-down. Just … don’t tell anyone you heard it from me. Ok?

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