Leave me alone!
As parents, I’m sure you’ve probably heard this often. And this statement usually signals 24 to 48 hours of silent treatment and tension both for the parent and the teen. But can parents avoid these times and find a way to really talk to their teens?
2. Don’t put your teen down verbally. This can backfire and work against you since by setting a back example you’ll not only be showing them how NOT TO deal with difficulties but you will also be undermining your teen’s self-esteem and self-confidence. This also stifles open and honest communication. So, instead, try to set an example as to how your teen can behave towards others by treating your teen with love and respect.
3. Carve out some family time. Choose a time when the whole family is together each day, if possible. You may want to take an hour after dinner and really connect. Or, you may want to talk a bit before your teen goes to bed. During these times, sit down and really connect with your teens. Don’t talk over the television or be plugged into any technological devices. This is distracting and true communication will be hindered if not destroyed.
4. Give your teens your complete attention. You may want to meet with only one teen at a time. Perhaps Mom can talk to one teen while Dad the other. Or, you may decide to talk all together. However, make sure that every teen gets an equal time to chat. Favoritism will only make matters worse.
5. Be compassionate about the plight that your teens are going through. Parents sometimes tend to undermine how their teens feel by saying things like: Oh it’s not that bad! Or, This too shall pass!
6. Keep your discussion time upbeat and fun. If parents make this time negative and off-putting all the time, teens won’t want to talk. Or, if arguments result all the time, the same will hold. Your teens will do anything under the sun to avoid such times.