Sometimes, prying information from your teenager is like trying to open a can without a can opener. It just can’t be done. Before you pull your hair out, learn how to get your Teen to come to you and talk when they need a listening ear.
As kids grow older they seem to talk to their parents less and less. Why is this the case? Often, as parents, we stop talking or listening to them. It is easy to get caught up in what is going on in our own lives and then we forget about our Teens and their needs in this department.
This doesn’t mean that parents are neglecting their kids. We satisfy the needs for food, clothing and shelter, but what about communication? No man is an island, as the adage goes, and that includes children as well. They have a need to be heard just like their parents.
Your child may need to talk about something right now but you aren’t noticing it. Begin again today and do what you can to get your teen to open up.
Six Ways to Get Your Teen to Open Up
I have a teenager and trust me, boys are much harder to talk with than girls are, but it can be done! Do NOT pry and do NOT judge! It will come naturally… well, naturally with a bit of prompting 😉
1. Give them time to talk – Time is of the essence to parents. If you ask your child something, you want an answer right away. But, when kids can’t open up right away, don’t pressure them. Let them get their thoughts together first and then ask them again.
2. Show respect to them – Teens are people and they deserve your respect as much as any other person. Give them their privacy in their room; listen to them when they talk; don’t discredit what they have to say just because they are children.
3. Talk about you – Teens often think that parents can’t relate to what they are going through. Prove them wrong by relating stories of your childhood to them. Even if it is difficult, let your child know that you understand.
4. Listen to them – Don’t form your next speech. Instead, give them all your attention. Acknowledge what they say with a nod or an occasional affirming sound.
5. Treat each child as a different person – The worst thing for kids is to feel that they are being compared unfavorably to their siblings. Give each person their own due and attention. Praise them for their attributes.
6. Value their opinion – Listen to their thoughts and consider them. Discuss family matters as a group and use their input.
Children of all ages want to open up to their parents. What they may fear is that they will be rejected for who they are or what they feel. Let them know that they don’t have to be afraid to talk to you about even the toughest subjects. Most of all… LOVE THEM and prove that love with your actions!