Teenagers: How to Talk To Teens
Teenage is a famously difficult age to hold a conversation with your child. The child is now in the grip of puberty, coming on his own and asserting their self and independence. This needs to be dealt with a sensitive manner.
This is what the experts have suggested:-
- Don’t lecture your teen, have a conversation.
- Don’t attack. Show respect for your teen’s opinions. Teenagers can be surprisingly easy to talk with if the parents make it clear that they’re listening to the teen’s point of view.
- Keep your statements short and simple.
- Be yourself. Get to know them better but don’t try to talk like your kids or their friends.
- This is the age when children first ‘fall in love’. It is a very sensitive time. Do not ridicule or make fun of them. Rather guide them to understanding what they are going through.
- Teenagers tend to assert their independence. It is their natural desire to experience and test the limits of their freedom. They are growing up into becoming their own selves. Allow them the space to do so.
- Teenagers are prone to experiment with risk-taking behavior – sexual experimentation, substance abuse etc. It is your responsibility to have the talk and keep them informed.
- Be Approachable. Explicitly tell them that they can come to you with whatever their concerns are and that you will not judge them. Tell them that you are on their side.
- Be positive. The many changes, bodily and emotionally, that teenagers go through can confuse them. It is important for you to foster self-worth and help them build their self-esteem not just with information and knowledge but with love and acceptance.
- Watch out for indicators of weight loss, substance abuse, depression etc. If you happen to catch some of the warning signs, bring the issue up gently and in a manner that is non-judgmental.