We all know it can be challenging to talk with our teenagers. Man oh man. That is an understatement. If I didn't live with intent, and make an effort, I wouldn't have the relationship that I do have now.
One thing that helps along the way that I thought I'd pass on by is that, I make sure we are on the "same page". Of course there are times during the week where I might feel a little distant from my daughter, or we might have a disagreement, or whatever the case may be. But if I feel any sense that there is unsettled business, I'll make sure I ask her, "Are we on the same page here honey?"
It's a question that she can answer honestly from. It keeps things open, so if she is feeling any emotion that is creating distance or a disagreement--they have the opportunity to share it with you. Instead of just "moving on" or sweeping it under the rug so to speak.
This also gives us a last chance as a parent to share how we might feel. Because sometimes along the way we do have to move on, but not until the issue is really dealt with. So once we both lastly lay what is on the table, we can then figure out a way TOGETHER to get on the SAME PAGE. Just because I'm her parent doesn't mean I'm not open to hearing her voice, or her feelings or her ideas! I've got to be open to them actually! The last thing as parents we need to be doing is having power trips. Being relational is the first goal, and then building on that.
So next time you don't feel quite "squared away" with your teen, be sure to ask them, "Are we are the same page?" AND "How can we get on the same page?"