bonding with tweens

Bonding with Tweens

Dear Mr. Dad: I am having difficulty communicating with my 11-year-old son. When I ask him questions, he barely answers with one syllable grunts and is completely uninterested in spending any more time with me than he has to. What can I do to build a better relationship with a child who thinks his father isn’t cool?

A: The good news is that most parents struggle with exactly this issue as their children lurch forward into their adolescent years. The bad news is that most of the temptations and opportunities to get into trouble (sometimes serious or life-changing trouble) happen when children distance themselves from parents, and instead look to their peers for guidance. Fortunately, there are still plenty of ways to bond with your children that will leave them thinking that you’re a pretty cool dad (or at least not the least cool dad ever), which will open up some important opportunities to talk with and mentor your child. Here are just four examples.

  • Go to their level.Find out what your children love and try to get involved. Take them to concerts, movies, fashion shows, karate or video game tournaments, sporting events, and everything else they show an interest in. Take plenty of pics and keep the focus on having fun. The more positively you respond to your child’s interest and the less judgmental you are, the more time they’ll want to spend with you.

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Armin Brott

View posts by Armin Brott
Armin Brott is the proud father of three, a former U.S. Marine, a best-selling author, radio host, speaker, and one of the country’s leading experts on fatherhood. He writes frequently about fatherhood, families, and men's health. Read more about Armin or visit his website, You can also connect via social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest,  and Linkedin.

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