How to Connect with Teens

I have three children, and the oldest is almost 14 years old. Parenting is certainly different with teenagers than it is with babies and toddlers, and I’m looking for ideas.

I was excited to get a copy of the new book, “21 Ways to Connect with Your Kids,” by Christian author Kathi Lipp. Even if you’re not a Christian, the tips for family activities are pretty good.

In 21 Ways to Connect with Your Kids, Lipp offers simple ideas and activities for parents that will appeal to children of all ages and personalities (expressive, analytical, driving and amiable). She also includes tips for the teenage years, ideas for step and blended families, and encouragement for single parents.

Although the book feels a bit “churchy” for me at times, I do like the tips for conversation starters! They’re a great way to get kids talking, and you don’t need any special equipment. You can use these talking points at the dinner table or in the car.

  • What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
  • Would you rather fly or be invisible?
  • What’s your favorite family tradition?
  • Who is the funniest person you know? Why is he or she funny?

I also like some of the “50 Ways to Connect with Boys.” As my teenager gets older, his activities and interests change. Some of these might be fun to do together.

  • Build something.
  • Grill dinner.
  • Watch funny YouTube videos. (My son loves this one!)
  • Make slime.
  • Try to break a world record.

If you have any other tips for dealing with a teenager, please share! Thank you!

Follow Your Heart and Intuition

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

Steve Jobs

Starbucks and Big Fish Give Away Games

Going to Starbucks? Help yourself to one of their Free App download cards! Starbucks and Big Fish Games have teamed up to give away free iPhone and iPad game downloads.

The free games change every week, so stay tuned to the Pick of the Week page for the latest news.

So next time you’re spending way too much on your caffeine and whip fix, pick up a free game while you’re there!