How to Connect with your Teenage Son

Connecting with teenagers isn’t always easy. Figuring out how to connect with your teenage son can feel impossible. Wondering when to worry about your teenage son? There are ways to get your teen son to open up to you so you can stay connected.

connect with your teenage son

When our kids are young it can feel easy and natural to connect with them. Boys especially tend to be affectionate with their moms when they are little, and many just adore their mothers.

But as they get older and are learning to spread their wings and become independent, it can be harder to find common ground with them. Especially because the teen world can seem so foreign to us parents. The music suddenly seems so loud, the clothes aren’t our style, and we don’t even understand the slang anymore.

But we have a choice. Are we just gonna sit on the sidelines in confusion, shaking our head saying we just don’t get kids today? Or are we going to step into their world, find out what makes them tick, what they like, what they dislike, and more?

The choice is ours, but either option will yield very different results. 15 years from now our boys are going to remember how we responded to them in the teen years.

It may affect the relationship we have with them in their adult years, so it’s imperative that we put the work in now when they are teens.  Learning how to get a teenager to talk about their feelings starts with reaching them where they are at. 

If you are one of the many moms who say that “my teenage son won’t talk to me,” read ahead to learn some ways to get them to open up.


Take an interest in his likes

For about 37 years of my life I had no interest in hockey. I found it boring. I just didn’t like it. (I know…as a Canadian I shouldn’t be admitting this.)

But my child suddenly began developing a serious interest in hockey. He adores the she sport. So I started taking an interest.

We went to a local hockey game together. We watch hockey on TV with another family. We built a rink in our backyard and I’ve gone out and played hockey with my teenage son even though I’ve never had a stick in my hand on the ice in my life before this year.

Yet, it’s a way I can connect with him and since I love him, I want to take an interest in the things he loves.

Take an interest in your teens likes. They will notice and it will give you something to talk about.

Let them play their music in the car

The next time you are driving, let your teen son out on his favorite music. Too many kids have their parents insult their style of music they like. It makes them feel bad and they are more likely to close themselves off to you.

Yes, their music might be a lite heavier or louder than what you are used to, but listen with an open mind. I’ve actually grown to like a lot of my teenagers music and so playing it in the car is a no-brainer for me. When I hear my teen singing along in the backseat I know they are happy and comfortable with me.

When they want to talk, drop what you are doing and listen

It’s no secret that teenage boys aren’t known for wanting to talk. However, from time to time they will start talking about something and that’s our cue to stop whatever it is we are doing and to be fully present and to really listen. Give them our full attention.

I know it can be downright inconvenient when our teens want to talk. They don’t seem to notice we are knee deep into housework or a work assignment we need to get done. But if we continually give the message that we are too busy for them they will stop talking to us.

Ask him about his day, but be specific

If you ask teen boys how their day was, they will answer with one word, “fine.” Or I you ask them what they did today, they will often reply with, “nothing.”

So to get them to open up a little more, ask them specific questions like, “who did you sit with at lunch today?” Or, “what sport and what position did you play in gym class” or “what topic did you pick for your essay and what interesting information did you discover about it?”

This will not only encourage them to open up a bit more, it’ll help you feel like you aren’t in the dark about what is going on in your child’s life.

Feed him snacks and hang around and eat with him

What will draw any teen out of their bedroom? Food of course.

Make some snacks and hang out in the kitchen while you and your teen eat together. People are always more likely to talk when there is food involved. You can make it a daily ritual and that may be the time of day you are able to connect, even if only for a few minutes, with your teenage son.

Don’t stop giving affection

As our teen boys grow up they aren’t as cuddly as they once were. While we don’t watch to embarrass them in front of their friends by smothering them with affection, teen boys still need physical touch from their moms.

My teenage son isn’t a huge physical touch person himself, which I can relate to because I’m not either. But I make a point to hug him goodnight every day, and throughout the day there can be little moments like putting my hand on his shoulder. 

He is always open and receptive to it because even people whose primary love language is NOT physical touch, they still need a small daily dose of it at least.

But we also need to accept they are getting older and won’t hug us in any setting. My teen went away for a night last weekend and he yelled “bye!” Happily as he ran out the door and before I knew it he was sitting in the vehicle he was catching a ride in and I realized I hadn’t hugged him.

But he’s at the age where he doesn’t feel the need to hug me goodbye at every moment. And I want to respect his space. So I just wait to give him a hug till when he gets home.


Not every teen is receptive when we try to reach out and communicate. If you have a teen that seems closed off, or has stated that, “my son doesn’t speak to me anymore,” I’d encourage you to keep trying to connect with them, no matter what. Our job as parents is to put in the extra work, even when it gets hard and we feel like we aren’t making progress.

If you continually put in the effort, more than likely this is just a season where its difficult to connect with your teenage son and eventually it will pass. And one day your teenage son will appreciate the work you put in. One day they will be an adult and they will be able to look back on their teen years and remember how you tried to connect with them.

And remember, our teenage boys are a gift. The teen years can be enjoyable if we look at them with a different perspective. If we try to embrace them rather than dread the teen ears, it can make all the difference. Our attitude about our teens matter. Teens are a blessing!

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