Like anything worth having, positive relationship building takes time and effort. Parents have to invest in building dynamic relationships with their children that will span their lifetime. So, how do you do that when no two children are the same?

Marine Corps Community Services (MCCS) has put together some easy tips that apply to all ages.

  • Show interest in what interests them. Surprise your child by seeing that movie they’ve been talking about. Afterward, take time to talk about it. Connecting with your child on their interest may build trust and create bonded memories neither you nor they will forget!
  • Spend quality time together. Set a designated time daily that allows your focus to be on each other. Visit your local Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) office for a list of activities or access to their Lending Library and see what books, toys, or offerings you can borrow. Activities can be done as a family or one-on-one.
  • Learn together. What do you mean parents don’t know it all? Baking a new recipe or learning the latest dance trend can be a fun and interactive way to get your teen to put down their cellphones and engage with you in a different capacity. 
  • Embrace individuality. Acceptance is an open-ended concept. Meeting your child where they are and allowing room for understanding and flexibility creates the freedom to adjust to parenting and relationship building. 

If you are looking for more information, visit Military OneSource for age-appropriate content as you continue to develop a healthy relationship with your adolescent. Don’t forget to check out your local EFMP and Child and Youth Programs offices for more resources.