• Wisdom on Connecting with Your Teenager Through Writing | Dara Kurtz | Episode 176

  • connecting with your teenagerParents want to enjoy their children. We want to spend time with them, have fun with them, and feel good about our relationship, especially through the teen years. And that can be challenging. The importance of establishing this connection amplifies when we understand having a good relationship with a parent is a protective factor for teenagers. So we wonder how we can get our kids to talk to us, come to us with concerns, and spend time with us. Part of the answer is by building connections. Mighty Parenting podcast host Sandy Fowler interviews Dara Kurtz on connecting with your teenager. They discuss creating connection and strengthening family bonds. 


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    A Favorite Quote from the Show: 

    Love the child you have in front of you, not the child you wanted to have.

    High Points From Our Conversation About Wisdom on Connecting With Teenagers:

    Quote about connecting with your teenagerYou need to be intentional when connecting with your teenager and cultivating a good relationship.

    There is no such thing as the perfect relationship.

    Everything needs to come from a place of respect. This doesn’t mean you have to agree on everything, just that you need to respect each other.

    We need to meet our children where they are—be curious about their activities, hobbies, and interests, spend time doing things that appeal to them.

    Look for a regular connection with your child, generally daily. If a day goes by and you haven’t connected then make it happen. Join them in an activity. Deliver a snack and check in. Write them a note. Do something to connect.

    When connecting with your teenager, you need to be honest and kind.

    Sharing journals are a great option for communicating. You can use any kind of journal or notebook. Simply write in it then leave it with your child. When they write something then they return it to you and the cycle continues.

    Sharing journals can help create a space to communicate when things are hard or intense. It allows space to process feelings and select words without the pressure of speaking to each other. 

    At the end of the day, our kids want our approval.

    There are 3 types of letters we can write to our children.

    1. Just Because: This letter, or note, is just a way of connecting
    2. Special Occassion: This letter commemorates an occasion. It often shares our thoughts about them at a moment in time along with congratulations, best wishes, and our hopes for them.
    3. Legacy: This is a letter that’s shared after someone has passed away. It can be a great gift, bringing closure and relieving guilt along with sharing our love and affection.

    We don’t give to get. Writing letters to our children is not about getting a certain response or receiving one in return. It’s about sharing, communicating, and connecting with our teenagers, even if we don’t see that connection.

    A “letter” doesn’t have to be a written letter. You can use art, audio recordings, and other means to share your thoughts with your child.


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    Our Guest Dara Kurtz:

    Dara Kurtz talks about connecting with your teenagerAfter being diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of forty-two, Dara Kurtz left her twenty-year career as a financial advisor to focus on writing, speaking, and podcasting. Today her personal blog, Crazy Perfect Life, reaches over 200,000 followers. Dara is the author of three books, Crush Cancer: Personal Enlightenment from a Cancer Survivor, Crush Cancer Workbook, and I am My Mother’s Daughter: Wisdom on Life, Loss, and Love. Dara’s goal is to use her life experiences to help people strengthen their relationships and create more happiness and joy in their everyday lives.

    To learn more or connect with our guest visit https://crazyperfectlife.com 

    Our Sponsors:

    iBme — Mindfulness courses and retreats for teens and adults iBme offers online and in-person retreats, mindfulness courses, and weekly meditations tailored for various communities of teens and young adults. Visit iBme.com to learn more and register for programs.

    Stressed moms have a harder time being the parent they want to be. Get Sandy’s free video lesson and her Core Strategy Inventory to get real relief from stress at sandyfowler.com/stress-relief