How to break down the wall of silence between you and your teenager.

Tue, Aug 31, 2010

Teenagers

teenager

The number one complaint that we hear from parents is that their son or daughter refuses to speak with them.  Unfortunately this is not something that can be solved easily or overnight, if at all.  Given enough time and enough patience, it can be overcome.

Step One.  Admit your mistakes and shortcomings to your child.

The first thing you need to do as the parent is to ask your teenager if they will sit down with you to speak with you.   During this conversation you need to confess your mistakes to them.  Admit that you messed up.  Admit that you have not been the parent that they have needed.  Admit that you have put other interests or your job ahead of them.  Then let them know that you are going to make an honest effort to change.  Let them know that the past is the past and you are going to try to do better starting today.

Step Two.  Talk to them.

Schedule a time for at least one hour a day to spend time with your teenager.  The time could be during and after dinner or maybe as soon as they come home from school.  Ask your teenager questions.  Talk to them.  Tell them about your day and then ask about theirs.  Throughout the day, prepare for your time with your teenager and think up questions you can ask them.  Ask them what their favorite color is.  Ask them what their favorite music is to listen to.  Ask them what their favorite place to hang out is.

Step Three. Stand your ground.

If your teenager tries to walk away and goes to their room and shuts the door, get out the screwdriver.  Take the door off its hinges and put it in the garage for storage.  When your teenager tries to walk away from you, follow them to their room!  If they try to hide in the bathroom… take the bathroom door off!  The point is you don’t have to raise your voice or yell or scream to win.  Get creative.

Remember that your teenager is angry.  That anger is directed at you the parent and to win them back you are going to need to stand your ground and also love them.  If all we do as parents is discipline, criticize, and judge our children, they will never want to talk to us.  We must also have a balance of love, friendship, and acceptance.  Your teenager is going to test you.  They want to see how serious you are about really wanting to change.  They want to see if you are going to follow through.  They want to know that you love them.

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