Watch the video above and talk about it with a group or mentor. Learn more.
Getting your teenager to open up to you can be challenging but there are some things you can do to make it easier for them.
- Children spell love: “T-I-M-E.” Take time to be with them. Make a long list of questions you can ask them so you can get to know them better.
- Adolescent children have a difficult time articulating their feelings. Do not let that stress you out as a parent.
- There are many hormonal changes during adolescence and children have a hard time understanding who they are during these years. What is most helpful in these years is for parents to be a steady, calming presence.
- Avoid lecturing and nagging. If a conversation goes on too long it will be percieved as lecturing.
- Be vulnerable and share similar experiences you had during your teen years with your child.
If you want your children to turn out well, spend twice as much time with them, and half as much money. -Abigail Van Buren
See Also: Communication, Parenting
Talk About It
- What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
- What are your favorite memories with your parents from your teen years? What did they do to show you that you were important to them?
- Growing up, did you feel it was easy to talk to your parents and that they really listened to you? Why or why not?
- How would listing questions to ask your teen be helpful for getting them to talk to you? What other techniques do you use now to develop an environment of communication with your teen?
- Are there experiences from your youth that might be helpful in connecting with your teen? How difficult is it for you to share your struggles and feelings with your teen? Explain.
- Who is someone you know who could be a mentor for your teenager? How could a mentor be helpful to you as you parent your teens?
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.