By Rebecca Perlman Coniglio, LCSW, LTD Contributor
Author of Lily’s Little Life Lessons
I spend several hours a week in my private practice with teenagers and more and more I find that during that time I am forced to admit that I am getting older than I think I am. Let me explain, when Whitney Houston passed away, I was talking about it and referenced the cassette tapes I used to listen to in my room growing up in the 80’s. I also have to nod in understanding when faced with Facebook references, when what I am actually recalling is the actual facebook paper manual I received as a freshman at Boston University. Even though I am slightly challenged in the technology department, I do feel that the technology available today can come in handy for teens with divorced parents. Let me give you an example, I recently asked a young girl if she missed her father who was away on business. She looked right at me and said, “No, I just face time with him.” So once again I nodded and secretly wondered what is face time?
Here are some ideas to help you stay connected to your parent when you are not with him or her:
1. Set up a regular time to talk on the phone in private, either daily or weekly. Keep a journal in between conversations so you remember what you want to share.
2. Send an email, text, or Facebook message to let your parent know you are thinking about him or her.
3. Make plans to do something fun that you both enjoy the next time you are together. It is great to have things to look forward to.
4. Send pictures or videos of a school concert, play, or special event to a parent who may not be able to attend so that he or she can be a part of it too.
5. On holidays, reach out on some kind of device to send holiday wishes to your parent. It will brighten the day for both of you!
I hope these tips are helpful. I do have to say as an aging teen myself, technology can be a wonderful thing, but I will always feel deep down inside that connecting is a human thing. So stay connected to your parents, divorced, separated, married, widowed, or whatever your situation may be, the best way you can. It will help to make your heart complete as you move along life’s road. A new device in your pocket is awesome, but without someone to have at the other end, what good would it be? Just something to think about.