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    Tips for Talking with Your Teen

    By Anonymous     

    Teens are notoriously difficult to parent. All too often it seems we start out trying to make conversation and end up in a fight! While teens do tend to be moody, it might just be possible that our attitudes as parents are partly to blame for these chats turning into fights! Here are some tips for having a real conversation with your teen.

    First, you need to treat your teen as a fellow human being. Forget about when you used to change his diapers and take him out for ice cream, those days are over and he won’t appreciate you treating him like that little kid anymore. Treating him like an adult (even when you see him as a child) is the best way to get your teen to open up and talk to you.

    Respect that your children are not the same as you. They will have different likes and dislikes and you need to accept that . . . within reason. Obviously, if your sixteen year old daughter is trying to date a fifty year old, you will have to take action. However, for music and hair styles, try to respect your teen’s decision as you would a friend’s. This means that if your daughter’s love of rap comes up in a conversation, you should try to discuss it normally, not instantly insulting her choices.

    Avoid negative terms when talking with your teen. Instead, be positive. Instead of saying “Don’t stay out too late”, a negative statement, you might say, “Please be back by ten”. It might seem like a small thing, but keeping the negatives out of your conversation is a good way to build rapport with your child and keep them talking to you.

    Talk about things that interest them. Asking how school went is not a good way to start a conversation with your teen. However, asking what they think about the new car their best friend got could be the perfect way to spark an animated conversation. Watch to see what topics interest your teen and let him or her lead the conversation.

    Keep judgments to yourself. As a parent, it can be easy to remark that your teen’s taste in clothing is only one step up from a hobo’s, but this is the fastest way to cut off the conversation! If it isn’t something serious, keep it to yourself, even if you have to literally bite your tongue. When teens feel that you are only out to criticize them, they won’t bother talking at all.

    By following these tips, you will find that your teen will be more likely to talk with you, although it may take some time for him to get used to the idea. Be persistent and keep trying, without being negative, and you will eventually see results.

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