If you have a teen — or, lucky you, many teens — in your life, it might feel like you live on different planets. Truly connecting with the teen(s) in your life may sound like an impossible miracle on par with winning the lottery or curing your own cancer by drinking green juice. But I’m not talking about a magic imaginary cure-all here. In fact, the solution to that teen distance is so basic, so effective — and so, so hard to do. Are you ready?

To connect with your teen, you just have to listen to your teen. That’s it.

But when I say, “Listen,” I mean listen. I don’t mean, “Stop talking.” I don’t mean, “Don’t interrupt.” I mean, “Reach into your brain, shut your thoughts down, and focus 100 percent on what the kid is saying.”

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This article by Cyndy Etler originally appeared on SheKnows.com