Challenge Growth

Teen driver with dad

Building a better relationship with your teen takes effort! While there are many ways to demonstrate your interest and devotion to your child, this series is about sharing some of the ways you can help your teen explore the opportunities that may be possible for the future.

Building Blocks to Success

Challenging your teen to grow from a child to an adult is not difficult. Most teens are pushing the boundaries naturally and sometimes it seems like it is the parent’s job to hold them back or slow them down a bit. Taking the approach to strategically challenge your teens growth though can help them more safely test those boundaries and develop experiences to help them transition to adulthood. Here are some of the building blocks that can help you to launch a child into a successful life:

(Source: Don’t Forget the Families: The Missing Piece in America’s Effort to Help All Children Succeed)



Help me

see future possibilities for myself.


Me Stretch...


me to recognize and strengthen my thoughts and abilities.


Great Things...

Make it clear

you want me to live up to my potential!



Hold me

accountable to rules and boundaries.

You Are Not Alone: Help for Parents

Parenting should not be a solo sport. Share your relationship building ideas with your spouse, significant other, neighbor, or other parents. Meet with other parents at school gatherings and start a conversation to hear their ideas. Here are a few talking points to help you get started:

  • What steps have you tried in connecting with your child to help them grow?
  • What were your successes?
  • What were some things that were not as successful?

Once you start filling your mental library of ideas on how to connect and build a better relationship with your child, you will have the resources needed when the next time an opportunity presents itself.

Content from this blog was inspired by:
More useful tips on building better relationships with your teen

Pekel, K., Roehlkepartain, E. C., Syvertsen, A. K., & Scales, P. C. (2015). Don’t forget the families: The missing piece in America’s efforts to help all children succeed (summary of key findings). Minneapolis, MN: Search Institute. The complete study is available at

More from this series:

About the Author

Photo of Anna Gouker

Anna Gouker

Anna works as an employment counselor at Employment Resources, Inc. Anna is also a blogger – Anna Works…Let’s talk about employment, empowerment, and disability. She holds a Master’s of Science degree in Rehabilitation Psychology from UW-Madison.
 More about Anna
 More Blog Articles by Anna