Every good conversation starts with good listening. Next time your teen wants to talk to you, seize the opportunity with these listening skills!
Here are 8 ways to listen that increase the likelihood that your teen wants to talk to you.
- Be present in the moment
- Offer support through your presence.
- Stop what you are doing.
- Listen intently.
- Maintain eye contact.
- Avoid distractions, especially from your phone, TV, or computer.
- Monitor your emotions
- Notice how you are feeling (angry, scared, sad, tender, happy…).
- Set your own emotions aside.
- Stay calm.
- If heated, take a break. Let them know you will return to the conversation when you calm down.
- Listen with non-verbal behavior
- Give affirmative head nods.
- Lean in.
- Listen patiently and with interest.
- Be careful of facial expressions that could shut them down.
- Reflective listen
- Watch their facial expressions. Does it match what they are saying?
- Reflect back their feelings – “I hear you’re angry”. “You seem sad.”
- Repeat their words as closely as you can.
- Clarify if you are not sure you understood what they said.
- Don’t put words in their mouth.
- KISS: Keep it short and simple.
- “Hmmm. I hear that you are upset that you got in an argument with…”
- “You are not sure you want to be friends with them. You are not sure what to do.”
- “If I understand correctly, you think, that…”
- Use empathy and validate their emotions
- Convey that you care.
- Affirm that you hear them and understand.
- Set your opinions and feelings aside.
- Accept their feelings.
- Don’t view their feelings as right or wrong.
- Show acceptance.
- Don’t judge.
- Don’t tell them to be grateful or use phrases such as, “at least.”
- Listen with respect
- Validate they are important to you.
- Convey that what they have to say matters.
- Affirm that they have value.
- Accept what they are saying.
- Hold them with positive regard.
- Trust they can figure out solutions to their problems.
- Encourage them.
- Don’t put them down or use sarcasm.
- Ask open-ended questions
- What happened after that?
- Who was there?
- What did you do?
- How did that work?
- Don’t offer unsolicited advice
- Surrender your agenda.
- Don’t act like you have the right answer.
- Avoid interrupting.
- Don’t act like a know it all.
- Don’t assume you understand what they are talking about.
Questions: What do you find most helpful on this list? What are some strategies you use to get your teen to talk to you?
Hi! I'm Sheryl and I'm so glad you're here!
Are you tired of having the same arguments with your adolescent son or daughter? Scared that you’re failing as a mom? At your wit’s end and not sure what to do?
I can help. I’ve coached moms for over 12 years to become conscious, calmer and more connected parents. And I know the difference it makes when you get support and learn new ways of relating. It changes everything!
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Hi. I’m Sheryl.
Welcome to my heart, my story, and my love for Moms of Tweens and Teens.
My passion and mission for MOTTS was born out of my personal journey – a journey that took me from a place of being fearful to show others the real me, to a place of slowly opening my heart to being authentic; a place of shame wanting to hide my challenges and struggles to experiencing the grace and love of being known and accepted; a place of not knowing what to do, to a place of experiencing the healing, wisdom, and transformation that comes from being a part of a community of women who are willing to share their hearts and allow themselves to be seen and known.
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