For centuries teen years have been one of the most challenging years for all parents in the universe. It’s that ripe old age where the little child you once knew turns into a completely different person. The arguments start and eye rolling commences. “Whatever” being the only word they seem to know. Teen years quite frankly, suck, for both the parents and the teen going through this stage. There are ways to not make these years suck so badly though, and it begins with parents learning to listen more and talk less.
Teen Years- How to Listen More and Talk Less
You see, teens will pretend they can’t hear you, start walking off or interrupt you to start a defensive argument about any topic you so choose to discuss with them. From breaking curfews to bad decision making skills based on lack of experience, teens can truly test your limits and make you want to lecture them for hours about how their choices are going to affect them for the rest of their life. Teens do not want to hear this; they don’t want a life lesson for every bad choice they make. Teens, believe it or not, simply want their parents to hear them.
The first step to getting your teen to want to engage with you about most happenings in their world is to be the parent that they can confide in; knowing fully that your response may be nothing or a compassionate reply. That’s not to say a parent should be their teens friend, that’s a whole other can of worms to discuss, you should be the go to person that they can trust to say anything to without fearing a consequence or life lesson being introduced for every conversation they entrust you to listen about.
Learn to think before you respond to your teen’s angst, find a medium ground where you can almost use trickery in your response to their conversations. When a teen is venting to their parent, sometimes that’s truly all they need to come to a place of peace and resolution for themselves. The teen years are all about guiding your child to start thinking and responding for themselves, this means that you will all too often need to be the ear that listens and the mouth that doesn’t speak. Between the raging hormones, constant changing of friendships and the battles of struggling through higher demands in the classroom; your teen simply wants you to be their safe place, so the safe place you must learn to become.