Needing Your Teen’s Help Can Build Connectedness

Posted on August 11th, 2011, 0 Comments

Interdependence is at the heart of parent-teen connectedness. Your teen needs to be able to count on you, and you need to be able to count on your teen. Asking your teen for help with a task at which they are more talented or skilled than you are can foster this kind of interdependent connectedness. And when they’re on vacation and free from homework is a perfect time to need their help with some of your work.

My daughter gave me first-hand proof of this when, one summer during her middle school years, I asked for her help with a task with which I’d been struggling for years: organizing the clothes in my closet in a way that would last. Using her artistry and logic she arranged everything in my closet by color like the crayons in a brand new box. She put all the tan items together, then whites, ivories, greens, blues, reds, and browns. Besides being an organizational scheme that helped me find my clothes, it was one that I could easily maintain.

I was thrilled with the arrangement, and I would not have come up with this organizational scheme on my own. My daughter delighted in knowing both these things. And, by needing her help, I was building an interdependent connectedness with her.

When you have an interdependent connectedness with your teen, it makes everything on your parent to do list – things like making and enforcing rules, helping them learn from their mistakes, and coaxing them to reach their potential – a whole lot more doable and enjoyable.

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