How to Talk to Teenagers

Sure, the title alone might make you laugh because you wonder if that is really possible. Can you talk to a teenager? Can you talk to a tweener?

The short answer is – yes, you can. There isn’t going to be one right answer on the method to talking to your teenager, because, obviously, each kid is as individual as the snowflakes that fall each winter in the north. Lifestyles, personalities and even your teenagers friends will determine your approach to talking to your kids.

When you hear “talk” you don’t always have to envision a drug lesson or a birds and the bees chat. Talking with your teenager is exactly that – talking to them. Ask about their day. Not necessarily, “what did you do in school today?” because you will probably always get a shrug and a nothing. Instead, ask who they sat with on the bus, what they talked about during lunch or who got in trouble that day. Asking indirect questions will usually lead to other aspects of their day.

Getting info on their friends is just as important as getting details about your teen’s day. After all, peer pressure has a lot to do with what your teenager is doing. so knowing their friends is especially important during these years. If they mention someone else got in trouble, ask what they did, why they did it and if they heard about the consequences. That makes a great impromptu discussion point without sounding like a lecture from you.

The most important part of talking to your teenager – be honest. Set expectations. Let them know you expect they will not take up smoking, or drinking or using drugs. Kids need to know what your expectations and boundaries are, no matter how old they are. Just like toddlers were told no seemingly all day long, teenagers need to hear no as well. Don’t worry about being their friend – you’re a parent.

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