Teens need to feel accepted and that you are listening with a respectful and curious mind for them to talk with you. A skill worth learning. At the end you’ll find a link to avoiding nasty communication blocks.
- “I’m guessing that you might feel …… if you did……..”
- “What are your thoughts on alcohol and drugs?”
- “I know I can’t control what you do.”
- “I realize that your choices are up to you.”
- “Sometimes you might go ahead and do something that you know in the end will be a bad choice. Any thoughts why?”
- “I’ve been working on stopping and thinking before I react to you. Do you think this has been helping our interactions?”
- “I’m wondering if you would be up to excusing yourself for a moment when you are asked to do something that feels wrong in your gut before responding.”
- “Impulsive decisions can feel fun to make. Just having fun can seem like the most important thing at that moment.”
- “When you tell me to not worry, I still do because I know the possible results of putting fun or friendships before reason.”
- “Would you consider taking a moment to stop and truly think about what could be the negative result of your decision instead of just brushing it off with, “nothing’s going to happen?”
Make sure you avoid communication blocks and learn how to listen openly before trying these observations and questions.
Also, watch Dr. Dan Siegel’s video on Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain
©2015 Cynthia Klein, Bridges 2 Understanding, has been a Family Success Coach since 1994. She works with parents and organizations who want more cooperation, mutual respect and understanding between adults and children. Cynthia presents her expertise through speaking and private parenting coaching sessions. She writes the Middle School Mom column for the Parenting on the Peninsula magazine. She works with parents of 4 – 25 year-old children. Contact Cynthia at bridges2understa.wpstagecoach.com, cynthia@bridges2understanding,com, or 650. 679.8138 to learn more about creating the relationship you want with your children.