What if you knew exactly what connection meant to your teen and how to quickly create it?

“So I just did it… I went to my daughter’s room and shared very openly and vulnerable, … I said that I love her and want to be a better, supportive mom … And we had a moment of connection… I’m beyond grateful that I’ve found you Aly. Thanks for being such an advocate for teens. Your work is beautiful, powerful, and SO needed.” – Elisabeth F.

On my journey from hurting to healing as a tumultuous teen, to a parent of two young adults, including navigating the complexities of ASD/ADHD, I’ve learned how the subtle and nuanced interactions with your teen are highly indicative of the state of your relationship.

You’re ‘doing all the things’ yet they’re constantly reacting from pain and anger as if you’re their mortal enemy. How is it possible your teen feels pushed away when you’re doing everything to break cycles and be the best parent for them?

Their adolescent brain is hypersensitive to your tone, body language, facial expressions,… everything you’re NOT saying.

You and your teen are both feeling angry, disrespected, and unheard, entering the downward spiral of disconnection through pissing matches, power struggles, and silent treatments. It’s exhausting and heartbreaking. You’re trying to raise a respectful human, yet your teen has become a moody, defiant stranger without any end in sight.

They won’t tell you what’s wrong, you can’t seem to reason with them about the simplest things without creating more conflict, so how do you turn this around without giving in?

Four Ways You Might Be Pushing Your Teen Away

1. Invasion of Privacy: Teens will fiercely protect their privacy as they become more autonomous and build their own social networks without you at the helm. When you snoop through their belongings or demand access to their digital lives without just cause, you breach their trust and send a clear message you don’t trust them. This leads to more conflict, withdrawal, shutting down, and lying about what really matters.

Quick fix – Balancing trust and safety mean less control and more communication. A 2018 Canadian Mental Health study showed that frequent conversations with your teen to keep communication channels open protects your teen against every risk factor across the board.

2. Correction as Motivation: Constant correction, even when well-intentioned, can feel like relentless criticism and huge demotivator to a developing teen. Your attempts to guide focus more on what your teen is doing wrong (or needs to change) rather than what they’re doing right. Similarly, comparisons, whether between siblings or peers, can erode self-esteem and confidence.

Quick fixHealthy communication ratios are 3:1 positive to correction so use short statements to affirm their character and encourage positive behaviors to build their own internal motivation.

3. Performing to Earn Approval: When your expectations of who your teen ‘should’ be become the yardstick for their worth with you, you’re on slippery ground. Whether it’s academic performance, extracurricular achievements, or simply the way they manage their daily responsibilities, the shadow of not measuring up leads to significant fear, anxiety, or avoidance. It’s a delicate balance to encourage without making your love or approval seem conditional to meeting those expectations.

Quick fix: Normalize failure as part of learning to lower the risk of trying. Celebrate your teen’s courage to try and fail, their efforts and progress, rather than just outcomes, to build confidence and resilience to engage in activities and try new things. Share your stories of learning and failing to remove the perception of needing to be perfect.

4. Talking Trash About Others: Sharing gossip or negative comments about friends, family, and coworkers might seem natural and normal within the privacy of your own home. You’re modeling how you deal with conflict and differences and your teen is wondering if that’s how you talk about them when they’re not around. They’re also learning it’s ok to talk about you behind your back, being right about how wrong/awful you are.

Quick fix: Show your teen it’s ok to have differences through a lens of curiosity and compassion by owning your feelings and experience, and seeing the humanity in others even when you disagree. This builds empathy and models self-advocacy to set boundaries and ask for change when relationships feel out of balance.

The subtle undercurrent of these 4 points is shame – a subtle message of being less than through humiliation, guilt, or failure. Shame teaches your teen to hide their true selves, to wear masks, and fear opening up about their challenges and mistakes.

Rebuilding connection with your teen is possible, starting with emotional safety – the foundation for trust, and the precursor for respect.

“My teen is open and honest with me and while I don’t love all the choices she makes, I do appreciate that she feels comfortable talking to me about them. It allows me to give her guidance…” – littleyogagarden

Your teen needs your influence in their life to avoid simple, and consequential mistakes. Create open conversations so they want your input, starting now.

Click the link below and join my free masterclass to get my proven system to being your teen’s trusted advisor without having to be their best friend.

I’ll see you there!


P.S. You’re already a great parent. Now it’s time to get current, science-backed tools so your loving intentions create more of the relationship you want with your teen before they leave the nest.