Top Tips to Teenagers Talk
If you are a parent to a teenager than you have probably been there, you said something to your young teenager and got a blank stare saying ‘what the f…’ or ‘are you for real’, but no words comes out! Or you ask them politely to do something, get no response and it does not get done. Maybe you even have them coming to you with personal issues and all you want to do is help but the response you get back is ‘you really don’t get it’ or ‘forget about it, you never listen’ etc.
Well, it is actually, not that hard to talk to them and here is our magical trick that works each time once you get the hang of using it.
Become a SOLE Listener:
- Whatever your teen says, you need to come from a place of LISTENING, not just hearing what they say but listen to understand what they are trying to say.
- To show you ARE listening try to simply repeat back what they said: ‘so you are not invited to that party’ or ‘wow, I can hear you are very upset’ or ‘what you said, is, that I don’t understand’.
- Squarely face the speaker, eye contact if possible, show them that you are focused.
- Open your posture – show them you are present.
- Lean towards the speaker. Show them that you care.
- Empathy instead of sympathy. Do not involve your emotions but only try to understand them.
Then come from a place of understanding: ‘I can understand that it made you upset, angry or confused’.
Accept that this is how they feel: and that is OK.
Remember that listening, understanding and accepting is not the same as agreeing, sometimes it is ok to say: I listen, I understand and I accept but I don’t agree with what you said.
If you practise and follow these 3 steps you will find that your teen will open up to you, respect you and be respectful towards your requests.
All the best
The Team of ParentingSuccess Coaching