Talking with your teenager and getting across your message can be very frustrating, taxing and challenging. This is the period when they are so self-centered and will not listen to anyone except themselves, making guidance and discipline so difficult.
You must understand however that this is a stage they are going through and not something permanent.
And to help you deal with their indifferences at this stage, here are some approaches you may try to better communicate with your teen:
- Unless it’s an emergency, talk to them only when they are ready. When you say the words, “We need to talk (add), let me know when you are ready.” This statement may surprise them, but may also make them realize the need to express their feelings.
- Avoid making everything right for your teen, because you can never do that. Refrain from telling them what to do, because they just call it nagging, instead start conversations that will allow them to express what really happened.
- Allow them to speak their mind on certain topics at hand, this will assure them that their opinion matters. And be generous with praise, they still need it.
- Get their attention by asking them if you can give them your advice and end up having them listen to you, which they normally do not do.
- No matter how bad what they’ve done, assure them that no matter what you will always be there for them. But, you have to make it clear that it does not mean they do not have to pay for consequences.
Another means when you can communicate with them is through family dinners. It does not have to be daily, but make sure when you have one, involve them from the preparation to clean up.These are the best times to catch them unguarded, and off guard, which will give you a clearer picture of what and how they think.
Remember that family dinners are to be spent relaxing, avoiding unpleasant topics, negative criticism and passing judgment.