Ideas to Help Get Your Teen Talking to You

mother and teenage daughter having an early morning talkYounger kids love to talk, but once kids hit those teen years they seem to clam up. It can be frustrating when you try to get your teen to share what is going on in their life. Sometimes it's just hard to get them talking. Keeping in touch with your teen is definitely important, but if you can't get them to talk, it makes it difficult. There are some things that you can do to get your teen talking. Here are some of the top ways that you can start getting your teen to open up and talk to you.
Idea #1 – Make Sure You Are Available to Your Teen – If you want your teen to talk to you, you actually have to make sure that you are available to your teen. After all, if you are too busy to ever have time to talk, they aren't going to talk to you. Kids know when you are busy and when you are too busy, you are more likely to brush them off. When you take time out for the kids and make yourself available to your teen, they will be more likely to come to you for a talk.
Idea #2 – Don't Try Too Hard – Many parents make the mistake of trying to hard to get their kids to talk to them. This often makes them resist talking even more. Take away the pressure and relax. When you stop pushing and pressuring them, more than likely they will realize this and will be more likely to talk to you.
Idea #3 – Get Involved in Activities Together – Another way that you can get your teen to talk is to get involved in activities together. Do activities that they enjoy. It doesn't matter whether it is a physical activity or something creative. Both have a way of opening up your teen. Teens tend to start talking when they are doing things.
Idea #4 – Use Questions that are Open Ended – It's important that you use questions that are open ended if you want your teen to open up and really talk to you. Yes and no questions won't get them talking and if you use questions that start out with the word "why" it may put them on the defensive. It's better to use an open ended question that they'll have to say more than "yes" or "no" to answer.
Idea #5 – Talk in the Car – When it comes to getting your teen to talk, having a conversation in the car is a great idea. After all, kids can't get out when you are driving down the road. This is a great time to talk to your teen so take advantage of it. Don't allow games or cell phones to get in the way of this prime time for talking either.
Idea #6 – Don't Be Judgmental of Your Teen – If you are too judgmental when you talk with your teen, they are less likely to really talk to you. However, if you avoid doing this, they will feel that they really can talk to them. Try to avoid lecturing your teen when they talk to you. This makes talking to you less than attractive to them. Let them know you are interested in what they are saying and avoid judging them. Otherwise you'll shut those lines of communication down fast.
Idea #7 – Cultivate a Friendship – Cultivating a friendship with your teen is very important if you want them to talk to you. Of course you have to be a parent first and foremost, you also need to be their friend as well. As you work on building up a friendship between the two of you, they'll be more likely to talk to you like they would a friend. Although you may need to step in with some parental advice, during these conversations do you best to avoid the strict lectures if possible.
Idea #8 – Reflect the Things You Hear – If you want your teens to talk to you, you need to reflect back to them the things that you hear them saying. They want to feel that you are really listening to them. This makes them feel that you hear and care about what they have to say to you. Look interested and ask questions. One of the top ways to keep them talking is to ask questions about the subject.
It is not impossible to get your teen to talk to you, although sometimes it can be difficult. If you are having problems communicating with your teen, start using these tips to help you out. If you truly put them into practice, you'll start building up communication between the two of you, which is helpful now and it will keep you both close in the future as well.
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May 18, 2009

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