Have you ever tried to force a teenager to talk? It’s usually not very productive, leaving both you and your teen to feel frustrated.
It can also do the opposite of what you intend. Instead of drawing you closer, it builds walls.
So what’s the answer? It is allowing conversations to happen in the natural course of events. What happens naturally is so much sweeter than what you attempt to force.
In case you are wondering what I mean by the natural course of events, let me first preface this by saying if there is something in particular going on with your teen that needs to be addressed, by all means do what you can to get things out. You still won’t be able to force anything but when there are serious concerns, you need to do what you can.
But when it comes to everyday conversations—even asking your teen how his or her day was—you may hit a stone wall. Don’t take it personally if you get nothing more than a grunt or a one word answer. If your teen doesn’t go into details, don’t start firing questions.
The natural course of events typically happens when you aren’t planning a conversation. It could be while you are in the car, preparing dinner or running errands.
But there is another time when these conversations can happen…when you are busy. In fact, you can get count on many times being in the middle of something and suddenly your teen is ready to talk.
It’s important to stop what you are doing; but even more important, make eye contact. If you continue to watch your television show, type on your computer or whatever else it is you are doing, your teen won’t believe you are truly listening. And you just might miss a beautiful moment that can never be retrieved.