Parenting expert reveals 5 best New Year’s resolutions to improve parent/teen relationships - and number 4 is so simple

Start 2024 off on the right foot and set your goals together

 New Year’s resolutions to improve parent/teen relationships
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With 2024  upon us, a parenting expert has revealed the best New Year’s resolutions you can make together with your teenage child to improve your relationship and the ideas are all surprisingly simple.

Every year, we all make resolutions (including New Year's resolutions for parents) that inevitably get thrown out the window by mid-January. But with help from experts, like those who have shared 24 New Year's resolutions for kids in 2024 and top tips on how to succeed, 2024 should be the year we all manage to stick to our goals. 

If you have children of any age, you've likely got some resolutions in mind when it comes to your parenting style or approach. But if you have teens, it can feel impossible to know where to begin in healing and improving your relationship with them. 

But don't fret. Parenting expert Deborah Gilboa, M.D., who is a board-certified family physician, parenting expert, writer, and mother of four, is on hand to share her top five New Year's resolutions you and your teen can make together to improve your relationship and they're fun, too.

mum and daughter skateboarding

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Her first resolution is to find a new hobby you're both interested in and can learn to do together. Whether you want to learn how to cook and make recipes together each night, or you land on a more adventurous task, as long as you're doing something new together, you're doing it right.  If you're still having to ask 'why won’t my teenager talk to me anymore?', you've not quite hit the nail on the head. 

“Ask your teen to make a list of five different activities that they would like to learn more about or do once a week or month with you,” Dr Gilboa told She Knows

“Then choose one of those hobbies and put it on your schedules. Make this time an argument-free zone, treated like you would a friends’ night out, a safe zone for both of you to focus on a common task and just enjoy each other.” 

The doctor's second resolution is a little more difficult. She urges parents to let their teens make mistakes, even if they could have easily protected them from making one before they do so. "We all want to protect our children, but none of us can protect adults from their own actions.

"As our kids are in this transition time, let them make some errors in judgment and then let them live with the consequences. This cycle — making a mistake, suffering consequences and then facing another decision — is crucial to building resilient adults and builds confidence too.”


(Image credit: Getty Images)

If it's possible, Dr Gilboa also suggests going on a trip, just you and your teen. Whether you go on a day out in the South East or you bag the the cheapest flights and use this hotel hack that could save you hundreds on your holiday accommodation, the aim is really just to simply 'have fun together.' “Decide on a budget and a timeframe and then ask your teen to plan a trip for the two of you. When they ask why, explain that you’d just like to have fun together.

“Give them a budget and a list of what it covers — lodging, food, transportation, entertainment. Then do whatever they suggest. They may be surprised at your compliance, and you’ll be amazed at the relationship building.”

Resolution number four is perhaps the easiest you can make. Dr Gilboa suggests sending a non-intrusive but thoughtful text to your teen, giving them some encouragement but also allowing them their space. “Set yourself a reminder in your phone — daily if you’re ambitious, or weekly or whenever — and text your teen something you admire about them. Focus on what they do (or try to do) and not on traits over which they have no control.”

Teenager on phone

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Last but not least, it's all about the tech! “Computers, cell phones, social networking — all of this is about freedom for the teen and control for the parents,” says Dr Gilboa. To meet on a healthy middle ground, the expert suggests drawing up a tech contract to keep both sides happy. "Make a contract that lists the boundaries of which technologies your teen may use, during what hours and to what purposes.

"Make a corresponding list of the privileges your teen can keep if they follow these rules and which privileges they can earn by keeping to the rules with few or no reminders.

“Then, and here is the hard part, do not hassle your child for anything they use technology for within those boundaries!”

You might also be interested in finding out how much sleep teenagers need. To learn more about parent/teen relationships, why not try reading child development stages: Ages 13-16 the late years, or how to make money as a teenager: 9 ideas from a money expert, as well as parenting tips: 18 things I know on my son's 18th birthday.

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse
Royal News and Entertainment writer

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is royal news and entertainment writer for She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with BBC Good Food and The Independent.