1. Lure him out with food.
Teenage boys seem to ALWAYS be hungry. You'll watch in awe as he polishes off an entire bag of chips...and then claims he's still hungry. But it's okay, because you get more time with him.
2. Bring him to a place he enjoys.
Tommy has autism, so he loves trampoline places because it gives him the stimulation he craves. He'll bounce and bounce and bounce. He prefers to go when there aren't a lot of people so we take him when it first opens. I bounce with him and have an out-of-breath conversation, because I'm out-of-shape. So I'll say, "How....are.....things........going?" And he'll actually ANSWER me! However, when I bring him to the store, he's sullen and only says things like, "Can we go home now?"
3. Ask him about his Minecraft village.
Subtly say things like, "So, you love all the dogs in the game...do you love anyone at school right now?"
4. Offer him food. I know. I already mentioned this. But it works. I promise.
"Tommy! Donuts!" And then you hear a thunderous noise, because your teenage son has big feet, and he'll appear! Voila!
5. Bond over subjects you agree on. For instance, my son and I agree that a lot of the music of today hurts our ears.
We prefer music like "We Built This City" and "Thriller."
Sometimes all I'll get is a fifteen minute conversation. I have to resist the urge to latch onto his ankle while shrieking, "But remember when I used to be your favorite person?" or,"You don't want to talk to me anymore?" like a frantic jilted girlfriend. But then I remember to be thankful for the moments when he will talk to me....
.....even if I do have to lure him out with food 90% of the time.