As a human being, you know the joy that comes when others focus on things that are important to you. It feels good to explore passions and hobbies, learning more on the topic and sharing that information with others.
Teens feel the same way. It can be very beneficial for teenage growth and parental relationships for parents to emphasize things that are important to your children. This is very challenge, however, since parents often have a wider perspective on things. You think you know what’s best because you recognize the mistakes you made in hindsight and don’t want your kids to make the same ones.
However, kids learn from mistakes, and they’ll grow into healthy adults if they’re allowed to put emphasis on what’s important to them personally.
Building Relationships through a Focus on Special Interests
One of the biggest benefits of focusing on your teen’s special interests is a growth in your relationship. If you want to truly understand your teens, you’ll get to know what they know. You might have a great love of sports, but if your son has more interest in music, you’ll have a hard time connecting. Unless, of course, you take time to get to know his hobby and show that you care.
You can build a lot of trust through empathy towards a specific hobby as well. Your relationship strengthens and you become an easier person to talk to. Through this special bond, your teen will feel more comfortable coming to you for advice or help overcoming a personal challenge.
Know When to Draw the Line
Allowing teenagers space to explore, learn, and build a passion for specific things is a vital part of growing up, but there has to be limits. You in no way want to control their freedom, but you need to make sure the things they’re exploring are safe and will create positive growth rather than negative.
For example, your daughter might have a vibrant passion for video games, but that doesn’t mean you should allow her to play for hours on end on the weekends and after school. That will stunt her social growth and prevent her from exploring her true potential.
In situations like this, try encouraging other activities. You might try to get her involved in a graphic design class, for example, where she can learn about video game development. This shows that you care for her passions, but that you won’t let her be stunted by it.
If you’re struggling to make a connection, we at Help Your Teen Now may be able to help. With more than 20 years of experience, we know a thing or two about parental connections and directing positive teen growth. For more information, call us at 1-800-901-7347.
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