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When your kid starts demand you keepyour distance — in my house, that involves eye rolling, mock gagging or the ultras offensive "eww, get away from me!" — relax. You will be able to show your teens you like them while still giving them space.
1. Let your kids go. Arduous as it can be, it is important to simply accept the very fact that when your teen starts pullingaway, he is in control, not you.
"Try to nottake it personally," says Glenn Kashurba, MD, an assistant psychiatry professor at Drexel University and Allegheny university of the Health Sciences in Pennsylvania.
"He'll come back when he needs to — and you ought to be there for him." To make things easier, confer with your teens about what is happening.
"Tell them you understand why they have to keep their distance," says GlennRoisman, PhD, a professor of developmental psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, "and that it's okay becauseyou are entering a new part of your relationship."
2. Respect your teen's rep. Once kids are hanging with their friends, it is important they appear cool. Do not mess that up with any displays of affection — that are bound to be rebuffed in front of your children's peers, Cauffman advises. Hugs will wait till no one else is around.
3. Begin new routines. the days of tucking them into bed at night or waking them up with a kiss could also be long gone, however that doesn't mean you can't find clever ways to start out some new ''show your love'' rituals.
Attempt blowing a bedtime kiss through their door. Or pat them on the back once you hand them lunch money in the morning.
Playfully impose a smooch each time you hand over the car keys. The purposeis creating an affectionate gesture habit, that they will come to rely on even if they act like they hate it.
4. Find affection alternatives. Kashurba suggests parents, most especially dads, modify the ways that they show affection to their teens.
Hugging daughters will become embarrassing once their breasts begin to develop. Chances are you have already found out that rumpling her hair is out of the question, therefore experiment.
Try an occasional hip check by the kitchen sinkor a back scratch while she's at the computer. Games — whether or not it's touch football or flicking one another with wet dishrags — offer parents an opportunity to remain physical with both boys and girls.
5. Chill their way. Flop down on the couch next to your teen, even though it means you have to endure MTV's The Hills. You may not be able to hug it out, but however sitting shoulder-to-shoulder and sharing a laugh will be the next smartest thing.
6. Choose your moments. Your teencould disregard most of your overtures, however there are always surprising times when she feels particularly vulnerable — overpowered by calculus, for instance, or after a fight with her best friend. Seize the instant. She may notask for it, but she'd extremely love a reassuring arm around the shoulder.
7. Remember, showing up matters most. When raising teens, "being actively engaged in their daily lives trumps everything," says Cauffman.
Which means rooting from the bleachers at basketball games, eating dinner together most nights, and extremely listening — on their terms, not yours — without judgment.