5 Ways I Stay Connected With My Teenage Son

This guest post is written by Jackie Tysdal, who had a son in my ministry a few years ago. I asked Jackie to share about how her relationship with her teenage son. I respect and appreciate how she tries to connect with him in healthy, age-appropriate ways. I know you’ll benefit from her wisdom!

You know those opinions and advice you get from everyone once you have kids? When my son was 3 years old someone told me that as he gets older he is going to be more into his dad and forget about mom for a while. I thought “WHAT? Not MY son!”

The real Jackie with her real son!

That was not going to happen to us. I pray he is close to his dad but he is NOT going to drop mom! So, that was the starting point of my intentional relationship with my son. I do not want to be just a teacher and bystander in his life. I want to enjoy life with him and be an active participant on his journey. Here are 5 things I do stay connected with my teenage son:

  1. I prioritize enthusiasm. I am excited when we have time to do something together. I make sure he is fully aware of the great time we are about to embark on.
  2. I laugh with him a lot. Laughter is a must. I usually throw in some jokes when possible to keep the mood silly and optimistic while steering away from all negativity. Life is just better all-around when you add laughter and keep the mood positive.
  3. I do what he loves. I try to show my son love by doing the things he enjoys. I am always willing to try his interests with him, no matter what he chooses.. When something seems too complicated for me I go at it full speed ahead and often that can bring a lot of extra laughter for us.
  4. I challenge him to show off his skills. Luckily, boys of all ages love to show mom their skills so I often ask my son show me what he’s good at. He loves to display his expertise at his favorite Xbox game, his latest dribbling tricks, playing music, being active, or doing any competition. Whatever the case may be, to me he is the best at it and he knows it.
  5. I try to go the extra mile. This can put our time together over the top and make it more memorable. I add the small but important extras when we’re having fun together. This is the cherry on top such as seeing a movie in 3D instead of 2D, grabbing his favorite treats, eating at his favorite restaurant beforehand, or even just letting him choose the music in the car.

When we have time together you can find us enjoying the latest Christian concert, seeing movies, pedaling around town, and playing basketball in the driveway. A few weeks ago we even ventured out for some Frisbee golf!

I never care about what we do because it is not about the activity to me. It doesn’t matter to me if I repeatedly fall on my backside while trying to snowboard or continually get last place in Mario Kart. It’s all about having time together with my son.

I am happy to report that so far he hasn’t ditched mom and we are making memories and laughing along the way. Inevitably we always do something dumb that we talk about for weeks. Those are the moments I cherish.