Kids grow up, and when they do, they shy away from physical affection from mom.
When it comes to teenagers, sometimes the more we love them, the more we push them away.
Jessi Berger is in what she calls the middle-mom stage, “when teens are fighting for their independence, but not quite ready to move on.” She shares ideas to show love to a teen who may not like physical affection.
Find more advice from Jessi on Instagram, @middle.moms.
5 Ways to Show Love to a Teen Who May Not Like Physical Affection
When it comes to physical affection, she suggests starting small. Give your teen fist bumps, high-five, pats on the back. Or try three taps to say ‘I love you,’ It’s simple, It’s not overly affectionate, It gets the point across.
Another big way is to show up for things that are important to your teenager. Your support means so much to them. If you can’t be there, find another family member or friend to go. Say things like “I’m so impressed that you…remembered to take out the trash” or “I love it when you tell me about your day when you come home.” Aim for four positive interactions for every negative one.
Lastly, know what they like and dislike. Know the vernacular of their favorite activity. Know if they struggle with certain people in their friend group or class. Teenagers will feel your love when you know and accept them.
Jessi wants us to remember one thing when it comes to teenagers, “They may not acknowledge your love in the moment, but they’re smart and they’ll recognize it and remember it.”