The teenage years can be turbulent, to say the least. With hormones raging, most teens struggle to feel comfortable in their own body and find their place in the world. As your teen navigates these new feelings, you may find your conversations getting a little more difficult.
While you might want to pull back at this time, it’s crucial to stay close during these formative years. But how do you talk to your teen about anything when their defenses are up?
Let’s check out a few tips that will help you know how to talk to your teen about anything!
To stay close with your child during their teen years, make sure your relationship is solid before their teen years begin. If your child knows that you’ve always been there for them—from soccer games to school crushes to homework—chances are, they’ll be more willing to continue sharing their life with you.
Life gets busy as a parent, but being present shows your child how much you care. So put the laptop away for a minute and give your kids, teens or not, your full attention.
While most parents are genuinely interested in every part of their kids’ lives, sometimes they forget to express that interest. Do you have a habit of only asking your child how their grades are, if they’ve practiced their instrument, or how they’re doing with other responsibilities? Your teen might feel like you only care about whether or not they’re doing what they should be.
It’s important to help your child accomplish their responsibilities—after all, you’re their parent! But if your child feels like you only care about whether or not they’re getting things done, they likely won’t want to chat much—especially if they aren’t caught up on their to-do list. Instead of only asking about how much they’ve gotten done, ask about how your teen is doing or what fun plans they have.
We all have those people in our lives with whom we feel we can share anything. That person might be a friend, spouse, or sibling—but what about a parent? For many, parents aren’t always at the top of the “tell everything to” list, but the closer you can get to the top of that list for your teen, the better! What does this look like? Here are a few tips:
- Communicate: Let your child know that they can talk to you about anything, anytime. And don’t just tell them; show them! Set aside time for you and your kiddo to talk about anything that’s been on their mind. And share about your life, too! Let your child get to know you just as much as you get to know them.
- Listen: We’re all culprits of talking when we should be listening. Every parent wants to help their child, so obviously our natural instinct is to give our teen advice any time they come to us with a problem. But before you put on your problem-solving hat, be sure to ask this critical question: “Do you want me to give you advice or just listen?”
This one question goes a long way in establishing trust with your teen, and lets them know that they can come to you for advice or if they just need to rant (let’s face it: who doesn’t, sometimes?).
- Make it fun: While serious conversations are necessary, chatting openly with your teen about casual topics is just as important. These fun convos can happen while you’re shooting the breeze in the batting cage or having some girl time at lunch.
You might be thinking, “Well, I’m a parent, and not just a friend,” but if your teen can’t have fun and chat with you as a friend, they likely won’t feel comfortable talking with you about more serious topics, either.
Stay in Touch Using Troomi
Staying in touch with their teens is a concern that many parents have. Once a child is old enough to start driving and staying out with friends, it’s good to have a way for them to let you know what their plans are. That’s where Troomi comes in! Troomi gives your child the space they need, with room to grow and learn responsibility, all while giving you peace of mind. Check out Troomi to see if it’s right for your family.
And remember: Parenting a teen is tough, but you’re doing a great job—better than you might think. And if you hear the occasional “Mom, stop! You’re embarrassing me!” or “Why can’t you be more like Kevin’s dad?” you’re definitely doing something right!