Teen advocate, Jessie Funk, MSW, shares her tips on how parents can connect with their kids, especially teenagers, this summer. Funk, a mother of two teens herself, says there are three things all parents should do with their teens this season to ensure at least one connection that will help strengthen relationships.


Take your kids on an adventure! Try something ambitious and even slightly intimidating that pushes kids out of their comfort zone. This will help kids build endurance and confidence when they’re able to complete something challenging. With ample outdoor activities available to Utahans, Funk recommends going outside and participating in these activities with your kids.


Try a creative project with your children. This can also be a fun assignment you can give your kids. Kids will feel a sense of pride and will also have a great memory of being creative as well as having parents supporting them in their innovations. 


“Give them an opportunity to just get outside. Especially for mental health for kids. You know, the sunshine, getting dirty, reconnecting with the earth, reconnecting with their own spirit, putting their screens down. That is vital to their mental health.” said Funk. There are just some things social media and phones cannot replace. 

Funk, a former therapist, currently employed by Provo Canyon Adventures, shared that on Saturday, May 28 there will be free river tubing all day that helps benefit Ukraine. 

For more information about how to connect with your teen, follow Jessie Funk on Instagram and TikTok: