358: Creating Golden Moments with Teenagers // Saren Eyre Loosli

 

Do you struggle to know how to connect with your teenager

Man, oh, man. The hormones, attitudes, busy schedules, still underdeveloped brains coupled with the overdeveloped longing for independence – sheesh! I’ve heard teenagers referred to as porcupines that need hugs, and that is SO REAL. 

amiright? 

If you are going through a rocky time with your teenager, you are going to love what I learned from my mentor of almost 15 years, Saren Eyre Loosli. 

Saren has deeply impacted my motherhood. She co-founded the website Power of Moms with April Perry, for which I was a writer and editor for many years before I started 3 in 30. She also founded Power of Families, which offers support for both moms and dads. Most recently, she started a podcast with her three sisters called In the Arena with the Eyre Sisters. It’s an awesome podcast full of mothering wisdom that you definitely need to check out. 

Saren is actually the one who gave me the advice that’s at the heart of my Flecks of Gold journal. She told me: 

“In motherhood, the hard moments sometimes outnumber the beautiful moments, but the beautiful moments always outweigh the hard moments.” 

This advice has helped me through so many difficult times as a mom, and it reminds me to focus on the good times. As I’ve kept track of these golden moments in my own Flecks of Gold journal, it’s carried me through so many rocky times as a mom. 

I love Saren’s focus on creating golden moments with our teenagers. She intentionally, carefully implements strategies that help generate beautiful moments to connect with her teeangers. I love her takeaways! 

 

Saren’s takeaways on How to Connect with Your Teenager

 

1. Prioritize tuck in time with your teenagers. 

It’s easy to forget that teenagers need tuck in time, too! I loved Saren’s reminder about this. This doesn’t mean you need to sit on their bed for an hour every night (although some nights you might end up doing just that!). It can be as simple as going in to give them a quick kiss and a compliment at the end of the day.

Some examples Saren gave of quick connections she has at the end of the day include: 

“I love how you worked so hard on that assignment this evening. I know it was tough and frustrating. I’m proud of you for persevering and getting it done.” 

“I loved seeing you run in that race today. I love how you put your whole heart into your races.” 

Compliment. Kiss on the forehead. Good night. 

Once we get into the habit, this is such an easy formula to follow, and yet it can make a big impact in how we connect with our teenager

 

2. Respect and get excited about their abilities and interests. 

Just like we strive to prioritize things that are important to our spouse, we need to do the same for our teenagers. And this goes beyond supporting them by watching their games or going to their recitals. Saren encourages us to get involved in what they love. Let them coach and teach you! 

One example Saren gives is of a time when she went mountain biking with her daughter. She hates mountain biking! It’s scary and uncomfortable. But she made herself get on the trail and try. Her daughter patiently taught her how to go over roots and rocks and encouraged her to keep going. This tender intercation where her teenager became the teacher created a beautiful moment of connection for Saren. 

I love this takeaway because it reminds me that the transition into adulthood means that my kids will become more and more my equals – my friends and my peers. The relationship I have with my Dad now that I’m adult is something I treasure. I cherish the times when he reaches out to me for advice. This adult-to-adult relationship begins when we intentionally give our teens opportunities to be our cheerleader and our coach. 

Isn’t that a beautiful way to connect with your teenager

 

3. Talk less, hug more. 

I can’t hear this takeaway without singing Hamilton. 🙂 But while Aaron Burr’s advice to Alexander Hamilton had its flaws, this takeaway from Saren is spot on. 

Teens have big feelings! And it can be easy to minimize them, lecture over them, or shut them out. I love Saren’s reminder to let your teens feel their big emotions. Don’t smother them with advice or wisdom! Try not to lecture them or use too many words when they are upset. 

Saren recommends giving them a little physical connection through a hug, a gentle rub on the back, or a squeeze on the arm. This will hopefully lead to more emotional connection. She wisely says, 

“We have so much we want to say to our kids. We have questions to ask them, things that we need to talk to them about, and things that we’re worried about. But if we jump right into the talking or the lecturing or the asking a lot of questions, it doesn’t work very well, I’ve found.

We need to first put the physical stuff in place. The less often we talk, the better. And that’s been a hard thing for me because I’m a talker and I’ve got all these great points and all these good analogies and all these stories to share, but I’ve learned that sometimes the best thing I can do is put my arm around them and just be quiet.” 

Don’t you love that? I know I need to be reminded of that as I interact with my own kids. What great advice as we try to connect with our teenagers

 

If you’ve been looking for ways to better connect with your teenager, I hope you’ve found these takeaways from Saren as helpful as I have. Here’s to many golden moments! 

 

To listen to the full episode, head to your favorite podcast platform!

 

>>>Are these tips from Saren Eyre Loosli on How to Connect with Your Teenager helpful? What other things have you done to connect with your teen? Share with us in the comments!  

 

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Related Episodes like this one on How to Connect with Your Teenager:

 

Mentioned in the Episode:

 

About our Guest:

Saren Eyre Loosli is a prolific educator who earned a BA from Wellesley College and a Master’s in Education from Harvard University. She’s done humanitarian and missionary work around the world and has designed and run curriculum and teacher training programs in schools and preschools across the United States. While Saren had five young children, she felt the need to connect and share ideas with other moms, so she used nap times and school time, and sometimes late night hours, to help cofound and codirect the website Power of Moms that grew to a viewership of over two million mothers. Saren then founded a new organization called Power of Families that offers support and resources for both moms and dads, and she recently started a podcast with her three sisters called In the Arena with the Eyre Sisters., where they share their collective wisdom from mothering 18 children between them, ranging in ages from 1-25.

 

Get in touch with our Saren Eyre Loosli: 


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