Communicating with Teenagers — Transcription
Hi, everyone! Welcome to the next Talk It Out Tuesday. I have a great question today, and it is “how to talk to your teenagers?”, which I know is a hard one. So there’s a couple of things that I have in mind here. The first one would be to validate their feelings. A lot of times teenagers just don’t think parents would understand, or they think that their parents are trying to give them advice instead of actually listening to them. So make sure you’re validating what they’re feeling. If they go through a breakup, don’t say things like, you know what he or she wasn’t right for you anyways, or it’s your first one, it’ll get better. They don’t want to hear that – they’re in heartbreak right now. And things that you can say to validate them would be, wow, that sounds like it’s really tough. I can’t imagine what you’re going through right now.
Things like that to help them to feel that you are hearing them and you’re empathizing with them. And along the lines of advice, don’t give advice, unless they’re asking for it. A lot of times teenagers won’t talk to you as a parent because they think you’re just going to give them advice that they don’t want. Sometimes they just truly want to be heard and just to vent it out, just like, I’m sure you do as well. So next time they come home and they ask, or they tell you about a situation that they’re struggling with, you know, you can ask them, is this a situation you want me to give you advice on? Or do you want me to just listen? And they’ll probably respect that you are acknowledging it. And then you can be able to understand if they really want you to listen or just to give them advice.
The next one would be to ask open ended questions. I’m sure you all get the whole “how’s school today? “Good”. That’s not going to be an open ended. Question enough for a teenager. So say things like, what was your favorite part of your day? Or tell me about something interesting that happened in school. Get that conversation flowing. So it’s not just going to be a one word answer, and then they’re just going to blow you off and lastly, help them to feel like they can trust you. If you tell them you can come to me with anything, whether it’s good or bad. It doesn’t mean that you’re automatically going to be in trouble, but we can try and talk about it and figure out a plan from there. So this way they can feel like they can trust you if something really is happening.
And if they’re struggling, they can feel like you’re there to support them and they’re not just going to get in trouble. Doesn’t mean that they might not eventually get in trouble for something that they’ve done, but at least this gives the opportunity to figure out a plan. And for you guys to talk it out before going straight into thinking that they’re getting a punishment, hopefully this helps. I know teenagers are a tough topic but they can also have a good relationship with you and you can turn that around at any point in time. So feel free to visit my website for more information at www.acecounselinggroup.com. And I will see you next week for our next question, and be sure to submit your questions on our Instagram or Facebook. Thanks!