That it’s not easy to talk and understand a teenager, it’s nothing new. Communicating with teenagers can be tricky, especially for parents who are in a new situation.
Parents should understand that in order to communicate with an adolescent, it is crucial to recognize that the situation is changing. Adolescence is a very important period in people’s lives, and it is necessary to adapt to understand what is happening.
The disappointment of parents
It is normal for parents to feel frustrated when their children begin to grow up, as they begin to want to lead their lives independently and to plan their free time without anyone but their friends. Suddenly, they seem to lift an insurmountable wall and stop talking about themes that were once the cause of long conversations.
In addition, teens begin to speak their own language, dress differently, listen to other types of music, and watch other types of movies.
Parents suddenly realize that they can no longer make plans for them, and that it matters little what they want or think. Parent’s opinions no longer count.
All this disappoints. Of course it does! The parents have dedicated their lives to modeling perfect children in their own way and it seems that everything goes downhill.
But we must not fall into the trap of thinking that as parents we are expendable. Our children love us, but like any other teenager, our “little ones” also want to assert their independence and feel competent on their own.
Many fathers and mothers complain because they can not talk to their children, because they can not tell them what happens on a daily basis. But the problem is that most of the time we do not ask the questions properly.
To get a teenager to open up for a conversation with an adult, it is important to ask the questions in a way to encourage interaction.
Ask Open Questions
Instead of asking closed questions that only allow you to answer yes or no, to address a teenager is much more effective to ask an open question.
That is, if we want to know how your day went, instead of asking you “Was everything okay at school today?” Or “Do you have a lot of homework to do?” It will be more effective to ask you for something specific like for example: “What did you do on physical education class?” Or “What did the teacher ask for in the literature test?”
Ask specific questions
In the face of general questions about broad issues, it is much more effective to ask a teenager about people or events important to them, even if they are about topics that as parents do not understand or are interest in. Our children value that we care about their tastes, especially when we ask them really interesting questions that encourage them to express themselves.
Show sensitivity and know how to listen
It is no use asking if we do not listen closely to what our children tell us, and if the only thing we care about is what we are going to say later, or whether we will use the answer they give us to get something that interests us as parents.
If we use our children’s responses to manipulate or reprimand them, we will only be able to close them more and more. And we will never get to know them or understand them, let alone help them when they need them.
Ask Questions about Personal Tastes
It is very positive to take advantage of some situations or circumstances to ask our children about their personal tastes. For example, we can ask about where they would like to travel or what they would like to see after seeing a movie that shows a different culture or place, or take advantage of a family event to ask them about their expectations about life. But without trying to influence them, only with the intention of knowing them.
It so happens that we often complain about how our children do not communicate with us, that we do not know them, but we forget that perhaps they think the same about us and that a change of attitude on our part can favor and improve our relationship with them.