A family coach offers advice on how to enhance your relationship with your teenage children.

Sean Donohue has been working with teenagers his entire life. He first started as a youth pastor in San Diego California, and then transferred to the San Francisco area. He’s since started focusing on problems he’s witnessed his entire life – ways to bridge the gap between parents and teenagers. We all know how difficult it can be.

Here are 3 small things you can start doing right now that will help build that relationship:

1. Self care

He says more is caught than taught. It’s extremely important for you as the parent to have a balanced life. Kids and teenagers will see this and see that it’s creating a healthy lifestyle for you. This will give them something to model themselves after.

2. Ask good questions

The world’s most common question to ask your teen is, “How was your day?” And the world’s most common answer is, “Fine.” Donohue says we need to do better. We need to ask deeper questions to get to know our kids more. To show them that we care about their life, and we want to know what’s going on in their lives.

3. Be a good listener

Too many times parents want to hear about their kid’s life but then they jump to parenting. That’s not always the best practice. Teens often shut their parents out, because they’re too tired of hearing about how they need to do better in life. As a parent, you need to listen to your child and be there for them. Don’t always rush to parenting right then. Listen to them and let them know that they are in a safe place when they talk to you. This will help your relationship grow in the future.