When cute kids turn into teenagers, they often stop talking to their parents! While they communicate plenty with their peers, unfortunately, they don’t do the same to their mom and dad. Here are some tips to help you reconnect with your teen:
Step Back and Listen
If your child comes to you with a problem, resist the temptation to immediately jump in and offer solutions. Instead, validate their experience by saying something like “that sounds really tough.” By holding space for the “hard stuff,” you can build trust and create a space where they can come talk to you. Let them really speak their mind and their heart to you.
Timing Is Everything
If there is something difficult that arises with your teens, don’t react by freaking out. In the heat of the moment, we often use angry or intense words that don’t help the relationship we have with our teens. Instead, learn to control your emotions, calm down, and then talk about it. Going on drives is a great way to open up that line of communication. Don’t force eye contact, and try to make things normal and natural. Nighttime can be another opportunity to really listen and hear your teen out as you’re giving them a back rub or helping to put them to bed.
Don’t Be Afraid to Apologize
In parenting, it is inevitable that you’re going to make mistakes. Remember that not only is your child learning, but you are too! Set the example for them that we can acknowledge our shortcomings and repair the relationship by apologizing after things get heated.