top of page
  • Haley Myers, LCSW

How do I Improve my Relationship with My Teen?

As a teen therapist, I understand the enormous pressure parents feel to ensure the success of their kids. Often times, this pressure builds into expectations that can be detrimental to your teen's mental health and self-esteem. It's important to remember tha

Parent and teen laughing on couch together while mom softly touches her son's hand. Promotes connection and safety.
A mom and son laughing together.

t the number one thing your teen needs is not just academic or athletic success, but a strong and supportive adult relationship.

While it's good to encourage your teen to do well in school and pursue their passions, it's equally important to show them that your love, attention and support is not conditional to their achievements. When your teen feels like they are only valued for their accomplishments, it can lead to anxiety and feelings of inadequacy.

Many teens feel like they need to constantly strive for perfection and cannot share their feelings with anyone, which can lead to more issues such as depression and anxiety.


What can you do to build a strong and supportive relationship with your teen? The first step is to validate their feelings and experiences. As a teen, they are going through a lot of changes and experiencing a wide range of emotions. It's important to listen to them and acknowledge their feelings, even if you don't always understand or agree with them. By doing so, you're showing them that you care and that their feelings matter.

Quality Time

This doesn't have to be anything elaborate, just simple activities like cooking together, playing a game, or taking a walk can help you bond with your teen. By spending time with them, you're showing them that you value their company and are interested in their lives.

Give them some space

It is so important to give your teen the space and autonomy they need to make their own decisions. As a parent, this can be so scary when you want to protect your teen from making mistakes, it's important to remember that they need to learn from their own experiences. By giving them the space to make their own choices, you're showing them that you trust and respect them as individuals. By giving them the opportunity to learn from their mistakes now, you are setting them up to be able to handle them even better when they are adults.

Celebrate the little things

Lastly, it's important to celebrate your teen's accomplishments, no matter how small they may seem. Whether it's getting a good grade on a test or making a new friend, it's important to acknowledge and celebrate their achievements. By doing so, you're showing them that you're proud of them and that you recognize their hard work and dedication. Remember, we are not looking for perfection here! Praising them for getting a C when they brought it up from a D does not mean they will now only focus on getting a C when you know they are capable of more…it will give them confidence and support that may inspire them to work harder.

Prioritize your bond

Let me say this again, the number one thing your teen needs from you is a dependable and unconditionally supportive relationship. By validating their feelings, spending quality time with them, giving them the space to make their own decisions, and celebrating their accomplishments, you can build a relationship that will help them thrive both academically and emotionally.

As a teen therapist, I encourage you to prioritize your relationship with your teen and remember that their success is not just measured by their achievements, but by the positive sense of self, character, and strength of mind they develop through your love and support.

Schedule a Call with Me

If you read this and think you or your teen need support, feel free to call me at (916) 538-9953 for a free 15 minute phone consultation. I’d be happy to hear about what is happening and help direct you to the right person. If you are looking for help with your child or teen, you can also read more about how I can help on this site's homepage.

1 view0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page