“When my mom wants to talk to me, this is what I imagine…I have a shield, I’m wearing armor, and I have a stick that I am poking at her while I say ‘Back! Back! Stay back! Stay away!’”
– Zoe, age 17 (quoted from Wiseman, 2009, p. 147)
If you’ve made your way to this page, chances are you know exactly what Zoe’s mom must feel like. Many parents wake up one day to discover the child who used to share every detail of their life with them has suddenly gone mute as a teenager. Pulling information out of them seems to require the skills of a CIA interrogator (or at least substantial knowledge in the area of magical armor-piercing spells).
It doesn’t have to be like this. The main reason parent-child communication breaks down so much as kids enter the teenage years is that most parents fail to change their parenting style to meet the changing needs of their child. As a result, parents and teens literally end up on two different planes of existence. As many parents exclaim in frustration, “it’s like we’re speaking two different languages.”
The information in this section will help you narrow that communication gap and get back on the same page with your teen (or at least the same planet). You’ll learn why communication breaks down, ways of getting your adolescent to open up to you, and most importantly, how to talk to your teen in ways that will get through to them.
Why teens stop talking & how to open the channels of communication again
- Why teens stop talking to their parents
- Discussions about sex and other taboo subjects
- Ways of getting your teen to open up to you
How to talk to your teen
- Communicating with teens – Some basic guidelines
- How to talk to your teen
- Saying the right words: Vocabulary to use (and avoid) when talking to teens (eBook)
- Giving teens advice