Talking to teens can be challenging, and this is distressing for parents.

Teenagers are starting to discover themselves, and figure out who they want to be. Part of this sparks a natural rebellion in them. They are getting a taste for new things and a new them, and they don’t want to be held back.

And who is likely to hold them back? Parents, of course!

A tug-of-war develops. Teens start to pull out of their parents’ shadow. Parents are reluctant to cut the umbilical cord.

The more the parents feel a need to pull their teen in, the more the teen wants to push away.

There is the classic one-word answer caricature we have of teens. Parents complain that when they want to talk with their teen it goes something like this:

Parent: Did you have a good day?
Teen: Yep.
Parent: How was school?
Teen: Fine.
Parent: Anything interesting happen.
Teen: Na.

The problem here isn’t just in the answers, the problem is also the dull questions. The parent is making an effort to engage a conversation, but the questions aren’t very compelling.

Instead, try asking your teen their opinion on a matter. Ask them about something that is currently trending, or what a new technology is for. Heard a word that keeps getting thrown around in media and you have no idea what they are talking about? Ask your teen, they might be able to explain it to you. Or try some Awkward Silence conversation starters to open up discussion topics.

This creates a less-forced & more organic conversation environment.

The problem isn’t just in your teen’s one-word answers, the problem is also your dull questions.

Most teens won’t understand how important it is for their parents to have thriving interactions with them. They’ll realise it years later.

And these being their formative years, it’s important to talk to your teens.

There are certain conversations a parent needs to have with their teen. You need to teach your sons to have respect for women. You should teach respect for others in general. Teens are still figuring themselves out and are experimenting, so teach them to still know responsibility even when their judgement may not be at its best.

They will be going through waves of emotions that will be uncontrollable. Tell them that this is normal and that despite how they seem, these feelings don’t last forever. They will come & go. Tell them if these feelings are getting the better of them, it’s OK to ask for help.

I will confess here, I’m not a parenting expert. And I’m not proposing any blanket rules. So please leave your comments & suggestions in the comments section below.

Let’s Talk.