Your actions as a parent really do speak louder than words, especially with prickly teenagers who seem to be ready to take offense every time you open your mouth. To help find ways to communicate your love to your teen without speaking, here are 5 ways you can help your teen feel loved.
1. Leave Your Teen Notes
While it skirts the line of speaking, leaving notes for your teen is a nice way to communicate your feelings to your teen. You can leave these notes around your teen’s room, though that may trigger them to accuse you of snooping.
If you do want to leave notes in their room or backpack for your teen to find later, placing them in easily accessible places like their door, the first book in their backpack or on top of their desk are good options. Also, you should feel free to go digital and send them the occasional text or quote that made you think of them.
2. Make Their Favorite Meal Or Treat
Making your teen’s favorite meal or treat, especially if you know they have been working hard or been struggling, can say “I love you” in several ways.
One, your teen knows you took the time to make something special for them. Another way this also communicates your love is how it lets your teen know that you are paying attention to the things they like and dislike as well as recognizing that you understand that your teen needed something special.
3. Loosen The Reigns
As your teen grows older, it may be time to reconsider some of the rules. While family rules of respect, good behavior, and others should always be encouraged and reinforced, an older teen may need more flexible rules when it comes to things like curfew and dating than a younger teen might have.
By doing this, you can demonstrate that you love and trust your teen to make the right decisions. Also, this will help your teen make the transition into adulthood more easily, as they will be less likely to go wild with freedom than their more heavily restricted peers.
There is a caveat to this suggestion. If your teen has been displaying troubled behavior which requires therapeutic treatment, you may not want to loosen up on their rules like curfew.
4. Set Up Regular One-on-One Activities
Parenting is a full-time job, and in this economy, it is usually done in conjunction with both parents working. This can leave little time and energy to spend one-on-one time with each of your children. However, it is important that you make that time for your teenager, as they can feel your love more when you are focused directly on them.
While teens may not always appreciate how much is on your plate, as they grow older and have more responsibilities, they will appreciate how you made sure to make time with just them.
5. Make Hard Choices For Their Future
If your teen has been struggling with poor choices or with their mental health, it can be hard for you to communicate your love to them, whether it is spoken or unspoken. A hard choice some parents have to make is to decide to send their troubled teen to a residential treatment center to receive immersive therapy so their child can make the changes they need to succeed in life.
Some teens may not be happy with your decision but as many parents and changed teens can attest to, making the choice to send your troubled teen away can be one of the biggest ways to say “I love you” without speaking.
Being a parent is tough, but likely, there is no doubt in your mind that you love your child. If you need assistance in finding the right program to help your troubled teen, contact us