It is something that has baffled the mind since the dawn of humanity: learning how to talk to your teens. Even the most intelligent parents with impeccable communication skills may not know how to talk, so teens will listen. For this reason, a family therapy program provides a neutral setting where parents and teens can express their thoughts and feelings constructively. Through family therapy for teens, it is possible to understand your teen’s behaviors and develop a healthy relationship with your teen.
However, you are not always in a neutral environment with a therapist acting as a moderator. Therefore, you must find ways to talk to your teen in a way that they will respond to favorably. Let’s look at some way that you can talk so that your teen will listen to you.
Create an Atmosphere for Open Communication
Let’s face it. Your teen is not going to tell you everything – at least not upfront. They value some of their small secrets. However, you are more likely to get your teen to talk and respond to you if you create an atmosphere of open communication in your home.
Believe it or not, your teen is dying to tell you what they think about many things. However, if they feel that their words will produce severe consequences, then they will back away. This also means they will not listen to you when you talk. So, try to create a non-threatening, non-judgmental environment where people are free to put their cards on the table.
Calm Down and Stop Yelling
We have all done things that have made our parents furious at one point or another. Better yet, there were times when we deserved a ‘good talking to.’ However, there is a difference between these isolated moments and yelling at your child for everything little thing they do.
The intensity only creates rebellion. It does not have the desired effect. In other words, the more you yell at your kid, the less likely they are to listen to you. Step away when you are angry and return to the issue after you have calmed down.
Stick to the Facts
Something that people cannot argue is the facts. When you point out the facts, then your teen has to respond or make a decision based on the facts, not based on emotions or vague statements. Talking to them more openly about your worries about a possible smartphone addiction will get more responses than outright blaming them for something.
Factual statements include:
- “You did not clean the dishes last night.”
- “We need to talk about why you came home late yesterday.”
- “Your teacher called and was concerned about why you were missing class.”
These are statements your child must respond to, explain, and find a solution for. By contrast, vague statements include:
- “You have a bad attitude, and I’m getting sick of it.”
- “You never follow directions.”
- “Anytime I try to talk to you, you are always on that phone.”
Even if these statements were true, there is no way to confirm or deny them. Furthermore, they are overstatements that cause your teen to back out of the conversation and retreat to their bedroom.
Let Your Teen Speak
If you control a conversation and do not let your teen talk, then do not be surprised if they do not talk. When trying to solve a problem, ask your teen specific and direct questions. Do not beat around the bush.
Once you have asked a question, let your child talk. Do not interrupt them. Ask your questions in the form of an opinion without sounding like you are probing. In other words, make the discussion sound more like a back and forth conversation instead of a one-sided lecture. Your child is far more likely to listen to you if they feel like they can have a say in the matter.
Bottom Line: You Are Still the Parent
Many parents confuse communication skills with being soft on parenting. As a parent, you are ultimately in control of your household. Therefore, after all the conversations are over and everyone has had their say, you still have to make executive decisions.
If you suspect your child has a mental health issue or an addiction, intervening in their lives and making decisions on their behalf is vital to their health, safety, and well-being. In an ideal scenario, you and your child will talk openly about their issues. However, good parenting means that you have to control a situation so that your child can recover from addiction.
Learn How to Talk So Teens Will Listen at Foothills at Red Oak Recovery
At Foothills at Red Oak Recovery, we understand how challenging it can be when your teen doesn’t communicate with you. However, we also believe it is vital to consider the reasons for the failure to communicate. For instance, many teens find it challenging to communicate if they’re battling an addiction or mental health issues. By nature, these conditions can cause teens to withdraw from friends, family members, and loved ones.
When you and your teen come to Foothills at Red Oak Recovery, we are committed to rebuilding the lines of communication within the family unit. With the help of our family therapy program, we help teens understand their condition and communicate their needs. We then allow the family to create healthy communication habits.
We can utilize family therapy in a range of programs, including:
- Alcohol addiction treatment
- Heroin addiction treatment
- Cocaine addiction treatment
- Opioid addiction treatment
- Prescription drug addiction treatment
To find out more about how to talk so teens will listen, then contact Foothills at Red Oak. We can help you intervene in your child’s life if they are struggling with addiction. Call us at 866.300.5275 to learn more about our addiction treatment services.