Talking With Your Teens
Talk With Your Teen – But Listen More Than You Talk
When it comes to tough subjects, teens have a hard time talking to their parents. Many teens are protective of their parents’ feelings and don’t want to upset them. And most parents have a hard time listening without reacting, judging, or wanting to tell our teens what to do. We, as parents, need to learn to listen, and help our teens come to their own decisions. Here are some suggestions:
Learn To Really Listen
Teens know when you’re listening, and when you’re not. Even if it’s a difficult topic to listen to, give your teen your undivided attention. Don’t interrupt. Don’t worry about what you are going to say or how you’re going to respond. Focus on what they are telling you and listen the entire time they’re talking.
You may be upset, but it’s important that you remain calm. Your teen needs your support, and if you are as upset as they are, you won’t be able to provide it. It’s not easy for your teen to come to you with a big problem. Take a deep breath and try to speak in a normal tone. It’s okay not to know what to say right away, but let them know that you will help them work through the situation and be there for them no matter how long it takes.
Remind Your Teen That You Love Them
Teens need reassurance. You might be disappointed, upset or angry at the situations they have gotten in to or the choices they have made, but remember to tell your teen that you are there to help and support them, not to judge and punish them.
Take Appropriate Action
Depending on what occurred and how severe the situation is, sit down with your teen and ask what ideas they have to help them (and you) move forward. Reassure your teen that if necessary, you will locate outside resources or additional information to assist them in reaching a decision. Remember, your teen may need counseling. You can always call us (272-3467) day or night, for advice or information, including support groups for teens.