Show your support today –and you'll also be contributing to a healthy future for your teens.

There are so many factors that influence a child’s development. Their school plays a role. The friends they find along the way certainly hold some influence. The sports they play, the television shows that they watch, and even where they travel all have an impact on who your child is becoming.

But the most significant factor in your child’s development?

It’s you, their parent.

Even when life gets busy or stressful, remember that your child needs your support, advice, encouragement, and guidance. And having a strong, connected relationship with your child is one of the most powerful tools you have to shape their development.

It isn’t an effortless connection – on the contrary, a strong relationship with your children requires work. But the investment is worth it.

When your kids enter their teen years, maintaining a strong relationship with them requires flexibility and creativity, based on their individual needs and interests.

In our family, our children all have unique interests and personalities. Kyle enjoys sports, while Mikael loves partaking in the sciences. Our daughters enjoy cooking.

In order to be there for our kids, we spend time with each of them doing the things that they enjoy. I spend time in the kitchen with my daughters baking cookies. We attend Kyle’s games. And we encourage Mikael’s passion by purchasing him the books and equipment that he needs to work on his experiments.

We also participate in several activities that bring us closer as a group. Family dinners consist of us chatting about our day, and we plan days as a family where our kids choose the activities. We prioritize these rhythms because it’s all about coming together as a family.

By spending quality time with our teens, we build trust that makes our communication easier when there’s something tough to talk about. When they are upset or want to share, we do our best to listen to them without judgment.

Having a connected relationship with your child won’t just set them up for future success – it will help them navigate some of the most challenging years of their life.

Youth with supportive, connected parents are less likely to abuse substances like tobacco, marijuana, opioids, or alcohol– and that’s just the beginning.

If you’re ready to strengthen your relationship with your child today, I encourage you to take a step.

Your efforts to connect today will build a better bond, and you – and your child – will be forever grateful.

Use these resources to to connect with your teens today:

A portrait of AnnMarie John, a guest writer for the website.

AnnMarie John

AnnMarie John is the creator of A retired army veteran, experienced photographer, and full-time travel blogger, AnnMarie Has been married for over a decade and is mom to 4 beautiful children (Kristall, Kyle, Mikael, and Madison). She is also the fur-mom to two cute Cocker Spaniels (Bentley and Ella) and a Birman cat (Cross).

Born on a small yet beautiful island in the Caribbean of St. Vincent and Grenadines, AnnMarie spent most of her adulthood living in the USA, primarily in New York City. AnnMarie and her family currently reside in Colorado Springs. CO and loves it.

AnnMarie's love for travel started as a child and now as an adult, she enjoys traveling around the world with her family. She believes that people should invest in traveling and experiencing the vast cultures around the world. One of her favorite quotes is, “Traveling is the only thing that you buy that makes you rich!"