Do you make every attempt to keep up-to-date with pop culture, technology and other teen interests but still find your teens rolling their eyes at you. Think Phil Dunphy from Modern Family. What can you do? Here are some common mistakes parents make in trying to bond with their teens (I’ve made them all at one time or another)
1. Writing long texts to your teens – Teenager abbreviate and keep each text down to less than one sentence. If you text your teens with correct grammar, no abbreviations and go longer than one sentence, they think “old person texting”.
2. Calling them on their cell when they are out with friends – Unless it is an emergency, teens much prefer a text so that they won’t be embarrassed having their friends hear them talking to a parent.
3. Showing you are cool in front of friends – It is great when you keep up with current music and talk to your teens about it. However, be careful if they have friends with them. A conversation that might bond you with your teen when they are alone, can totally embarrass them in the company of friends.
4. Dancing – Teens are almost always going to be mortified watching their parents dance, no matter where or when.
5. Posting pictures of you teens on Facebook and tagging them – Get your teens permission first or at least don’t tag them, because tagging someone in a FB picture allows all of their friends to see it.
6. Using text abbreviations incorrectly – ex. writing LOL for something not funny because you think it means lots of love. Phil Dunphy quote from the first episode of Modern Family – “I’m cool dad, that’s my thang. I’m hip, I surf the web, I text. LOL: laugh out loud, OMG: oh my god, WTF: why the face.”
The fact that you are trying to keep up with your teens interests is wonderful. Now just try not to make any of these mistakes. Have you made a faux pas with your teens when trying to connect that you would like to share?
See also: A Parenting Book Written by Teens