Kids know more about you than you know about them.

People are wired to pay closer attention to someone who has power over their world. Think about it. As kids and teenagers grow up, they depend on the adults in their world to get food, to have transportation, and to pay for something on occasion.

It just makes sense for them to . . .

Pay attention to what you like—so they can sweet-talk you later.

Listen to what you dislike—so they don’t accidentally make you mad.

Here’s a relational principle for you: You can’t influence someone you don’t know.

So, you have to know them. 

Yes, you were a kid once… but you weren’t a kid in 2024. You don’t know what it’s like to navigate new friendships, conflict, and develop a world-view in the era of screen time (for peers and parents!), social media commentary (from peers and parents!), and entertainment on demand.

When you assume you know what you don’t, you risk giving kids what they don’t need. So, if you want to have influence, your kid needs to know that they matter to you. 

If you want to influence your child, you need to know who they are.  Here’s 6 free resources to discover who your kid is in their current phase: 

21 Questions to Get to Know Your Kid or Teen

The Best Way to Communicate at Every Phase

Sex Conversations Through the Phases

How to Have a Mental-Health Checkin With Your Teen or Preteen

3 Ways to Connect at Any Phase

5 Questions to Ask Your Kids Today