Have you ever noticed your young person wandering around the house with no real purpose? Watched them as they open and close the pantry without selecting anything?  There will be a lot of this type of behaviour being exhibited at the moment.

They could be trying to connect with you by throwing out bids.

What do we mean by bids for connection?

Bids for connection are behaviours that may be trying to attract attention, affirmation or affection. These bids can show up in really simple ways like the loitering teen who seems to just be everywhere you are at just the right time. Sound familiar?

These bids, once recognised can be utilised as an opportunity to connect with your young person and build a stronger bond.

You might respond and say ‘Hey are you feeling bored?’ or ‘You seem a bit quiet today?’ You may even offer some affection like a giving them a hug or a rub on the back. You may even use a smile to acknowledge their bid.

By acknowledging their bid for connection you are opening up the conversation that they may want to have. This promotes positive interactions and relationship building. We often hear parents saying ‘I want to know what’s going on for them?’ By recognising and responding to these bids young people are more likely to come to parents and caregivers with the difficult situations they may face.

Wyndham City Youth Services’ Tuning into Teens provides practical tips and skills from Wyndham City’s Youth Services team to help parents and carers tune in to young people.