Getting Teens to Talk
1. Talk less, listen more- We naturally want to share our wisdom and advice. But that may not be what your teen wants or needs. Kids are more likely to be open with their parents if they don’t feel pressured to share information.
2. Be available- The best conversations are often unplanned and during not ideal times. When teens want to share, their timing may be inconvenient, but it is best to stop what you are doing and try to engage with them.
3. Connect with your child every day-Try to spend some time with your child every day to provide an opportunity for them to talk about the positives and negatives of their day. It may be quick, like having a cup of tea together or watching a tv show. It could also be doing an activity, like walking the dog or exercising.
4. Problem solve together- Try to avoid jumping in with demands and making them feel incompetent. Instead, reflect on feelings and then help them to brainstorm solutions. You can discuss possible consequences and outcomes and decide on the best solution for everyone. The parent can still set the rules but explain the reasoning behind the rules to your teen.
5. Continue to praise- Teenagers still need praise to boost self-esteem. They might act like they’re too cool to care about what their parents think, but the truth is they still want your approval. Also looking for opportunities to be positive and encouraging is good for the relationship.
6. Keep your cool- Try not to lose your temper when your child is being rude to you. Try to cool off before responding. This can be difficult, but you want to avoid a screaming match with a hormonal teenager.
6.Eat a meal together- I know I have mentioned this before but getting a family together for a meal helps with communication and keeping a family close. Kids who feel comfortable talking to parents about everyday things are more likely to discuss harder things.
7. Look for changes - It’s normal for kids to go through some changes as they mature, but pay attention if you notice changes in mood, behaviour, energy level, or appetite. If you see changes in your teen’s daily ability to function, they may need your help.