How to talk to a teenager if he does not want to listen

How to talk to a teenager if he does not want to listen

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If all attempts to get through end in a quarrel or an indifferent “I’m fine” – it’s time to change something.

1. Do not push with experience and authority

Stop words: “Because I said so”, “I’m older and I know better.”

What is the best way to say: “Now I will explain why I think it would be better this way.”

Lack of explanation is the cause of many family disagreements. The temptation is great to simply crush the reluctant teenager with parental authority instead of discussing causal relationships. But it’s important to be patient. First, pressure only provides a temporary solution. Now the teenager will do what you want, but the distance between you will increase. In the long term, such a method will cause a rebellion or withdrawal “into oneself”.

Secondly, taking others at their word is rather a bad habit. By explaining why it is worth doing this and not otherwise, you teach the teenager to rely on arguments, and not on the authority of the speaker. This will come in handy in a world where everyone likes to give advice on any subject. A teenager must understand that adults can also make mistakes, so you need to follow logic and facts first of all.

2. Recognize his right to his own opinion

Stop words: “As long as you live in my house, you will do as I decide.”

How better to say: “I understand your point of view, but I see this situation differently.”

At some point, the child ceases to be an extension of you and becomes a separate person. Formally, it still depends on you in everything. But internal separation has already taken place.

You may find yourself looking at the world in completely different ways. Therefore, accept it as a fact: before you is another person who has the right to think differently. All you can do is explain your vision. But whether it will respond to a teenager is up to him to decide.

If you are convinced that a son or daughter is doing wrong and ruining his life, try to find a compromise. Usually between the children’s “I will not go to university” and the parent’s “We all have doctors of science in our family” there is a whole field that can be explored together and find common ground there.

3. Share personal experiences

Stop words: “Don’t poke your nose into the affairs of adults”, “Grow up – you’ll find out.”

How better to say: “Well, I had a day. I’ll tell you now!”

If you’re trying to be the perfect parent all the time, you’re moving into the nerdy adult category for teenagers. And they are not interesting to listen to. Surely you yourself are annoyed by people who are always in a white coat and do everything right. Be human with your mistakes and weaknesses. This will give your teenager a chance to empathize with you and learn to empathize.

We are not talking about shifting responsibility onto young shoulders or devoting younger children to the details of conflicts between parents. However, you can tell your teen that you had an argument with a co-worker at work and feel guilty about it. Or mention that you still feel bad about remembering how your classmates bullied you at school. Sincerity usually breeds a desire to share something in return, so there are many chances that your sincerity will open up your teen.

4. Respect your teen and their privacy

Stop-words: “There is nothing of yours here yet.”

What’s the best way to say, “Can I steal your pencil?”

To get attention and respect, you must first give it. For example, learn to listen to a teenager and not interrupt. Don’t raise your voice. Knock before entering the room and ask permission to take his things. Yes, the same things that you bought him. Thank for the help, even when you think that he was obliged to provide it. Your own behavior will help build the right relationship model much better than a sea of ​​​​rules and requirements.

You need to respect, among other things, the right of a teenager to secrets and personal space. For example, pocket money, which he manages himself, or a password on the phone. Insisting on full transparency is only necessary when it comes to safety and health. But whenever possible, let the teenager feel free, without having to account for every step and word.

5. Ask for advice

Stop words: “It’s still small – to teach parents!”, “You still don’t know anything about life.”

What’s the best way to say, “Help me choose some stylish sneakers. What are they wearing now?”

Communication will be too edifying if you only say what to do. Even adults lose attention and concentration when listening to mentor speeches – for example, the boss. So that your words do not fly past your ears, intersperse the rules and instructions with requests for advice to you. For example, what to wear to a corporate party, what movie to watch, what color to paint the walls in the bathroom.

Despite the fact that you still fully provide for the life of a teenager, he already feels like an adult. But this can be used for good: let him take responsibility, solve everyday issues, or learn to make the right choice. By reinforcing the idea that he is no longer a child, you will give your teenager new stimuli and make communication less one-sided.

6. Avoid awkward topics

Stop words: “You should be told everything at school”, “So that you don’t drink anything stronger than lemonade!”.

What is the best way to say: “How do you feel about drinking in your company? Let’s discuss”.

Teenagers have an early interest in the forbidden and the “adult”. For example, the desire to try alcohol. Do not think that if you do not talk about anything, then a teenager will never know about drinking. On the contrary, it is better to start a dialogue on this topic before he drinks for the first time for the company. Explain that alcohol is a part of adult life, but even adults should be responsible with alcohol.

The main thing is not to overdo it with punishment if the teenager did something or came home drunk. Concentrate on solving the problem. Of course, this kind of antics is an occasion for a serious conversation. But if you go too far, there is a risk that in the next incident, the teenager will hide or hush up the problem so as not to run into your anger.

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