Bonding with a moody teenager is challenging when they only let you communicate through a slammed door or while they're wearing headphones blasting their tragic ballads about misunderstood high school romance. Nurturing their hobbies and interests and making sure they feel loved, safe, and supported is sometimes all you can do as a parent or a guardian in a teenager's life, even if you imagined your role would involve fun shopping trips complete with a hat montage and dance party.
While teens do seek guidance in mentors, unfortunately they don't always choose their parents to be that figure for them. If a younger relative or teenage niece or nephew looks up to you, communicating with their parents is also incredibly important for everyone involved. Being the "cool aunt" isn't worth getting blamed for that line of cars outside your house while you're on vacation and fifty hungover minors are asleep next to your pool. I told you not to throw a party, Katrina!