Seven Quick Tips for talking to your teen:
1. Start young! Don’t think you can all of a sudden at 16 start talking to them about boys, good grades, sex, relationships if you haven’t done any foundational work!
They will look at you and shut down (she’s gone all parenty on me) or roll their eyes as if to say “yeah Mum ,already know that!”
2. Start with your world not theirs, at first, best to come at the questioning, with your own sharing –
” I had this funny thing happen to me today…”
Have you heard of…. I love his latest song …
I read this great story today about…
” Hey what do you think of these shoes with this dress?
“What do you think of ……”
When children learn their thoughts and opinions are valid you set them up for good conversation early. Overtime this will be reflected in what they disclose to you, and they will be open to questions about their world.
3. Talk about an issue with them indirectly. Going into their room or matching them to yours is confronting and creates defense mode: In the car, giving them a lift, when you are cooking together, out for a quiet lunch and chatting about something else, mention it.
4. Never make assumptions about how they feel or their views. Always ask what their perception is. You don’t have to agree with it, you just have to acknowledge and validate it. Recognise and verbalise that you can see they are frustrated or annoyed and they still must clean their room or be home by 10pm.
5. Praise them, praise them, and praise them! ; From doing a great job on their room, to talking kindly to their siblings, to handling a difficult situation well. Point out their great qualities. Tell them what you admire about them.
6.Pick your battles! If you are arguing over everything it will define the dynamic of your relationship. They will see you coming, and sigh. However if you decide to pick that battle, NEVER lose!!
7. Maintain you’re even but firm tone even when they get ‘shouty’ (and they will, love those teenage hormones!) Getting down on their level means one word – escalation!
If you find you are at this stage walk away until you both have calmed down and revisit the issue when you no longer want to throttle them 😁
Having trouble relating to your teen?’I can help . First consultation is free !