At some point in your teen’s middle school or high school years they stop talking to you at home about their teen issues. It can happen at 11 or at 16 but its a typical thing. You may ask how school was that day and get a quick one word response like “fine” or “okay”. From there your child may go to their room or outside the house to ‘get away from you’. It can leave you frustrated as a parent when you want to connect with your child but they’re acting like a typical teenager does. You may be all too used to the years gone by where you child was an endless wealth of information and insight. You probably now reminisce about the days where you became annoyed because your kids simply wouldn’t shut up. Now you just want them to open up and talk more. In elementary school you may have known all of their teachers by name, met most of them and spent more time with your child. You knew their best friend and had a good sense of who your child was, who they spent time with and which teachers influenced them positively in school. Those days where your teen’s issues are open to you might be gone for now. You teenager probably has a few new friends, many new teachers and you might not know a lot about those people and influences.
Teen Issues: How to Get Your Teen to Talk
You are probably frustrated and confused about how to really get your teen to talk and it’s all in whether on not you listen. Modeling good behavior and manners will rub off on your child. So, when they speak you should be actively listening. A lot of teens feel like they aren’t being listened to. They feel their opinions and feels aren’t respected or validated by their parents. So, instead of talking and sharing aspects of their lives they shut down or stick to saef subjects that won’t end up with their parents prying too deeply into their lives. You teen may want to talk to you about their problems or concerns but feels that they can’t right now because you don’t or won’t listen.
Open Your Ears and Close Your Mouth
As a parent you can simply sit and listen to what your child says and later take time to reflect on it. You teenager is learning and growing into a young adult. They will start formulating opinions about ethical problems, political stances, friendships, fashion ideas and have their own thought processes. However once you have mastered how to listen to your child you may be wondering how to ask questions that don’t get shut down or huffed at?
The Right Way to Ask about Teen Issues
You may remember when your children were young, catching them doing something they shouldn’t. When you asked them if they did it they would obviously give a hard ‘no’. However, you may have learned to outsmart them by asking them a question that would offer more than just a yes or no. For example, “Amy, did you use the red or green crayon to color on Mommy’s wall?” Instead of posing a yes or no response your child might fall into the trap of replying with which color she used and confess to the crime in the same fell swoop. Consider asking you teen a question that allows for more than a one word answer. “I thought you had a test today, in science class? How did that go?” It shows that you care about how they did not that you are asking for their grades. It simply shows that you have paid attention to something your child has shown you and that you care enough to follow up and see how they are feeling.
If you feel disconnected from you child or see that they are dealing with anger issues, are withdrawn or not themselves they may benefit from speaking to a therapist. If you are interested in learning about the programs and admissions process of Insight Treatment please give us a call today. (888) 295-9995