Monday 6 September 2021

Ad | Guest Post: How to Effectively Express Your Love to a Teenager

This month I'm sharing some tips from the experts over at Better Help, where you can find a huge FREE library of advice that anyone can access. This post is written by Marie Miguel, who has been covering health related topics for over a decade, and something very important to my own family. 

How to Effectively Express Your Love to a Teenager

There’s a notorious stigma that after becoming a teenager, we start to disconnect from our parents and their affection. However, this isn’t necessarily true and it’s important for parents to avoid leaning into this stereotype. Instead of using affection as a tool for teasing or withholding it because they seem “too old”, recognise changes and make adjustments to the way you express your love for your children.

my daughter and I at a train station both smiling to camera

The Importance of Expressing Feelings

Every family has its own ways to express their love, pride, comfort, and humor with each other. However, communication isn't something that's always easily picked up between parents and their children, especially since there's a power dynamic that tends to separate the two parties. It's crucial for your children to grow up in an environment where they can feel heard in their own way, though.

While not everyone showers hugs and kisses during a happy moment and some people may even find compliments and deep conversations more awkward than uplifting, there are ways to communicate emotions. With the help of online mental health resources like BetterHelp, you and your family can work together with a professional to better understand what everyone needs to know they're safe and loved. While your youngest may enjoy quality time and physical touch, your teenager may prefer long talks and material rewards. However they may need it, it's important to get your children's input on how they want to be heard.

If you’re looking for more information on how to explain love and ways to communicate emotions with your children, check out this article on the different kinds of love: .


3 of my children sitting on a couch with a cloth wallhanging above

5 Simple Ways to Effectively Communicate

1.   Tell Them Directly

Depending on variables like your own upbringing, cultural background, or even difficulty expressing your emotions, it can feel foreign or uncomfortable to directly tell your child “I love you” seemingly out of the blue. However, expressing your love, pride, and interest in your child can improve their mental health, self-image, and encourage them to be open about their emotions as well.

2.   Active Listening

It's crucial for your child to feel heard and accepted, regardless of whether or not you understand what they're going through. Active listening is when you turn your full attention to the conversation at hand, taking in the conversation without building a response or anticipating your turn to speak. Giving your child the opportunity to lead a conversation and discuss their interests, opinions, and problems not only builds a trusting bond between the two of you but also shows them how much you care.

3.   Encourage Their Interests

Consider this scenario: you’re out to lunch with your friends and you bring up a new book or tv show you’ve been obsessed with. It feels better when they engage and ask you questions, even if it’s not their preferred genre or source of entertainment. Similarly, your kids want to feel engaged when they talk about their hobbies or interests. By asking stimulating questions, bringing up the topic first, and remembering specifics, you’re showing them that you care and respect their personal preferences.

4.   Give Them Space and Trust

Sometimes, the best way to tell someone you love them is to give them their own space and responsibility. Especially with young adults, giving them more autonomy or lenience can make them feel trusted and mature. It’s a way to acknowledge that they’ve been growing as an individual and you’re proud of their developments.

5.   Spend Time Together

Quality time is a common love language many people don't realize they have. If you feel excited to see your best friend, thrilled when your partner suggests a day for just the two of you or pleased when someone asks to tag along errands or trips, it's probably a major love language of yours. Your children can also feel this way; notice their response to you asking to be around them, suggesting personal days for just the two of you, or offering to participate in an activity they enjoy. Quality time builds a bond between the two of you and provides a way to encourage open conversations and build trust between the two of you.

my partner and 19 year old son playing two person shooter VR gaming at X-Gen VR Stockport

Image from X Gen VR in Stockport ~ We were guests to review, and it's a great place to go with your older kids. You can see my full X Gen VR Review here

1 comment:

  1. Aww this is great. It is so important to keep that bond and open communication as they get older. Fab tips x


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