Ep. 56: Make Meaningful Connections

Ep. 56: Make Meaningful Connections

Update: 2019-10-27


Do you ever feel like the week goes by and you haven’t really connected with your teen? You might look back to find that every conversation was about getting somewhere on time, making a plan for dinner, or providing reminders about something that needs to get done. 
Maybe you had the best intentions--you really planned to bring up a touchy subject or share something deep--but life just got in the way. You’re not alone. It’s a common complaint from parents in today's busy, over-scheduled, technology-driven world. 
So how do you carve out the time to connect on a really intimate level?
In this week’s episode I spoke with Joanna Guest about what parents can do to break out of the mundane go-go-go pace of life and start working in communication with your teen that is meaningful, positive, and real. Joanna is the author of Folded Wisdom: Notes from Dad on Life, Love, and Growing Up
When Joanna’s younger brother, Theo, showed no interest in reading, a teacher suggested their dad write notes to peak the little guy’s curiosity. Joanna’s Dad took the idea and ran with it, writing both Theo and Joanna a note with an illustration every morning to take to school. And he kept it up for 14 years, ultimately writing 4775 letters.
Unlike his daily communication, which often felt routine and rushed, the notes hit on deep topics, life lessons, and--during baseball season--the score of last night’s Yankee game.
In our interview, Joanna clued me in to the incredible insights she uncovered in curating her dad’s notes. Going back over the notes ten years later (and with a degree in Family Studies), Joanna marvels at just how special his notes were. She wrote this book to share them with the world.   I was blown away at how wise and poignant Joanna’s advice  was for parents of teenagers today. Among other things, she told me: 

  • How to teach lessons without being so “teach-y” (a major turn-off for teens)

  • Why exploring  and sharing our vulnerability can bring us closer to our teens

  • Using a “practice” to foster stronger communication

  • How exploring your child’s interests opens up possibilities

If you are looking to meaningfully connect with your teen while imparting valuable life lessons, you will not want to miss this episode!

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Ep. 56: Make Meaningful Connections

Ep. 56: Make Meaningful Connections