As a person, you no doubt understand the joy of others paying attention to things that matter to you. It feels good to discuss your passions with others, sharing some of the joy you feel with others.
Your teen feels the same way. It is very important to your relationship with your teen that you emphasize things that your children care about. This can be difficult, because teens and adults rarely see eye-to-eye on things and do not often share the same interests.
Building A Relationship With Your Teen Through Their Interests
One of the most direct benefits of paying attention to what your teenager is into is a substantial improvement in your relationship. To get to really understand your son or daughter, you need to learn about things they already know. You might be big on sports, but maybe your son has developed a passion for music. This can create a gap, unless you make the effort to learn more about music and demonstrate your love for him through sharing this with him.
Learning a little about their interests goes a long way towards building trust and empathy. As you show your teen that you are truly invested in them, they will begin to open up to your more easily and view you as their go-to when they have issues.
Drawing The Line
Granting your teenagers space to develop and explore their passions is very important, but that is not to say that there should not be limits. While you don’t want to control them, you have to also ensure that their interests are safe and appropriate.
For instance, just because your son or daughter is passionate about video games does not mean they ought to be allowed unlimited access to them, nor spend all their time lost in them. In cases like this, encourage other activites in addition to, not instead of, the ones they already show interest in. In the example of the video game enthusiast, consider encouraging them to get involved with something like graphic design or other related activities. This shows that you care about their passions, but also want the best for them.