fbpx
^ Back to Top
954-260-0805

How to Talk to My Teenager

10 Ways to Start A Conversation With Your Teen

Help Your Teens DadSonChat-300x200 How to Talk to My Teenager Let’s face it, we all know that raising teens today is not easy and experts all agree, communication is key to having a good relationship.  However sometimes simply talking to a teenager is not so easy.  They can be very challenging when they turn us off.

Here are some ideas for ways to get teens talking:

  1. Create a topic jar. A topic jar is a jar that you fill with different pieces of paper containing conversation topics. Each night at dinner a different person gets to choose a slip of paper from the jar and read it aloud. The reader gets to start the conversation. For example, the slip of paper could say, “Tell about something that surprised you today”.  Don’t forget to add in topics about digital lives.  “Any new apps, websites, videos, virtual friends….”  Be as interested in their online lives as you are in their offline ones.  Remember, statistics show that kids today spend at least 8 hours a day digitally connected.  This includes cell phones and computers.
  2. Ask open-ended questions. By asking questions that cannot be answered with only a yes or no, you are opening the door for your teenager to say more than a couple of words in reply to you. Try to avoid grilling her and stay away from asking questions like, “How was your day?” Her answer will most likely be a one word answer to these type of questions. Instead, say something like, “Tell me about your day.”
  3. Help Your Teens MomDaughterChatting-300x200 How to Talk to My Teenager Talk about topics she likes. Often teens feel like they are misunderstood by their parents. Instead of trying to get her involved in whatever you want to talk about, try talking about something that you know she likes. If she is an avid tennis player, discussing the French Open is a great way to start a conversation.
  4. Schedule some one on one time with her. Take her out to her favorite restaurant with just the two of you. If that is too expensive, just go for dessert and linger over coffee. Do something that she enjoys, like going to a shopping (even if it is window shopping) or a tennis match. Sharing these moments with her will give her the opportunity to talk to you while you are both relaxed and alone.
  5. Listen more than you speak. Every minute of your time together with her doesn’t have to be filled with idle chit chat. If you are trying to get someone to talk, leaving some silence will give them the opportunity to fill that silence with conversation.
  6. Be patient with your teen. If she is going through a rough time with her boyfriend or her other friends at school it may be difficult for her to talk about. Give her opportunities to broach the subject with you, but don’t try to force her to talk to you. That will only result in her becoming more stubborn and closed off.
  7. Put yourself in her shoes. Teenagers think that their parents and caregivers don’t understand them. Try to resist saying things like, “I understand what you are going through because I was a teenager once too you know”. Every generation has their own obstacles to overcome, and you can’t know what she is going through until she tells you. Really try to imagine how you would feel if you were in her shoes going through what she is going through.  Keep in mind, we didn’t have technology or social media to deal with. It is their world today.
  8. Don’t try to fix her. Parents and caregivers often try to fix a situation before they even understand it. Everyone is busy, but make time to hear her out. Don’t jump in and offer advice until it’s asked for. The only thing you should be doing while she is talking is nodding and saying the occasional, “hmm” or “I see” to indicate you are actively listening. This part is very difficult, but she needs to feel heard. Imagine how it would feel if you were sharing one of your problems and the person kept interrupting you to offer advice. Would you enjoy that?
  9. Try to be her soft place to fall, not a road block. Teenagers are faced with a lot of peer pressure. Amazingly enough, teens will come to the right decision most of the time if given the chance. Comfort her if she’s had a fight with a friend or if she breaks up with her boyfriend, but don’t condemn the boyfriend or friend. Anything negative that you say now will come back to haunt you when she gets back together with her boyfriend or the next time that her friend comes over to spend the night.
  10. Only offer your opinion when she asks for it. If you are lucky enough to get your teen talking, don’t interrupt with your opinions. Telling her what you would do isn’t going to help because she will remind you that you and she are nothing alike. Teens are trying to break away and prove their individuality. If she asks for your advice, start by asking her what she has considered so far. This will give you an idea of where her head is and you can act accordingly. Avoid lectures at all costs.

Keep in mind, having conversations before you reach a point of confrontation makes for a happier household.  Studies have proven that families that have frequent meals together can reduce risky behavior in teens, it doesn’t have to be every day, but try to have them as often as possible.

If you feel your teen is shutting you out completely and you have exhausted all your resources, seek help from outside sources such as possible a friend or family member they respect.  You may have to then reach out to an adolescent therapist.  If you are still struggling, please contact us for information on residential therapy.  Sometimes removing them from their environment can help them reflect on what they are having difficulties with.

As Featured On

Help Your Teens DrPhil_Season_7_title_card1-250x139 Home Bottom - Logos Help Your Teens oprah-logo-250x1091 Home Bottom - Logos Help Your Teens PLATFORMforgood Home Bottom - Logos Help Your Teens ParentingTodaysKids Home Bottom - Logos Help Your Teens sunsentinel Home Bottom - Logos Help Your Teens Galtime Home Bottom - Logos Help Your Teens FoxNews1 Home Bottom - Logos Help Your Teens Forbes-Magazine-Logo-Font Home Bottom - Logos Help Your Teens huffington-post-logo Home Bottom - Logos
Help Your Teens family-online-safety-300x112 Home Bottom - Logos Help Your Teens TodayMoms Home Bottom - Logos Help Your Teens usatoday Home Bottom - Logos Help Your Teens washpost Home Bottom - Logos Help Your Teens abcnews Home Bottom - Logos Help Your Teens CNN-living1 Home Bottom - Logos Help Your Teens anderson-cooper-360-logo-250x107 Home Bottom - Logos Help Your Teens cbs_eve_logo Home Bottom - Logos Help Your Teens bostonglobe-250x250 Home Bottom - Logos Help Your Teens nbc6 Home Bottom - Logos Help Your Teens newsweek Home Bottom - Logos

..and many more.

  • Follow @SueScheff

  • RSS Sue Scheff Blog

    • Teen Gaming Addiction June 21, 2021
      Signs of Teen Gaming Addiction Many parents are concerned with the amount of time their tweens and teens spend online. Whether it’s communicating with friends through social media, texting or chatting — or they are playing video games, it all involves screen-time. What is gaming internet addiction? Experts say that just because someone uses the […]
    • Social Media: The Emotional Impact on Teens May 13, 2021
      Preventing the Adverse Effects of Social Media on Teens Social media was created to make people socialize virtually, and that has been possible to some extent. There are multiple other benefits of social media as well, but the question is do the pros outweigh the cons of social media. If you aren’t wise enough, things […]
    • Digital Citizenship: The Most Important Thing for a Screen-Using Youth To Learn April 13, 2021
      Young people spend much of their lives in front of a screen, and with the pandemic, that time has increased substantially. Yet, few young people are taught how to be good citizens online, let alone how to balance the time they spend online with all the other parts of life—like sleeping, mealtimes, exercise, and face-to-face […]

To get help, CLICK HERE or call us at 954-260-0805
P.U.R.E. does not provide legal advice and does not have an attorney on staff.
^ Back to Top
Copyright © 2001-2021 Help Your Teens. Optimized Web Design by SEO Web Mechanics Site Map