Many of the parents we meet share that they struggle with getting their teen to talk. They report that attempts at conversations are met with one or two-word answers.
Perhaps for you, it goes like this – your teen doesn’t talk to you unless he or she needs something. Even then the conversation is mostly one-sided, as if you the parent, were on a “need to know basis.”
You’ve probably heard that this was normal and your teen would grow out of it. Unfortunately, when we accept the status quo with those we love we tend to lose ground. Before we know it, we hardly know the teenager who once reached for our hand to cross the street.
Consider this mom’s story with her teenage boy:
“My son went from bedroom to school to kitchen to bedroom every night. I made dinner and he “wasn’t hungry.” Or, he had homework, which was usually true so how could I be upset about him not spending a few minutes with me?
One day I thought, what is important to him? I realized there were a few TV shows he never missed. So, the next time his show was on, armed with a bowl of buttery popcorn, I plopped myself in the chair next to him. During commercials, I asked him about the storyline and characters. I listened and he talked. Afterward, I commented about something I liked about the show. He seemed surprised.”
The truth is, a lot of parents of teens struggle with meaningful communication. However, we can learn to set up conversations with our teens so everybody wins. When we listen more than we talk it is entirely possible our teens will begin to see we are on their side and find us trustworthy to confide in.
You want to be one of your teen’s primary guides into adulthood! Build on your relationship with your teen now! Take initiative and meaningful conversations with your teens can continue into adulthood.
Consider these 4 easy steps to set up your conversations for success:
- Ask open-ended questions and follow up with “tell me more”
- Go on a walk or car ride
- Prepare a meal or go to their favorite restaurant
- Find something that interests your teen and join them
Here at Integrity Counseling, we work with parents to become better at focusing on quality conversations. It’s completely possible for you to improve communication with your teen and watch your relationship grow.
Your attempt at quality conversations with your teen may not happen overnight. It will take time to practice listening more than talking and asking your teen to “tell you more.” But with guidance from our counselors and making time for meaningful conversations, you will find that communication increases resulting in a more satisfying relationship with your teen.
Or, call 360-356-8756, extension 1 to schedule a session today