Parenting a teenager can be difficult, with a lot of worries. As your teen grows up and becomes more independent from you, you will worry more about what they might be doing and what decisions they’re making. A lot of parents struggle to talk to their teenagers about potentially embarrassing or upsetting topics, like sex, mental health, or alcohol. Sometimes you need to have these tough conversations to guide your teen towards responsible decisions.
Try To Stay Calm
No matter what your teen wants to discuss with you, keep your cool. Let them know that they can talk to you about anything they want and that no topic is off-limits if they need advice or support from you. If you can stay calm, whatever the topic, this will make your child feel more comfortable about approaching you about awkward subjects and more likely to come to you for help.
Praise Them For Coming To You
If your teenager asks to talk, tell them how pleased you are that they trust you enough to bring their problem to you and that you’re glad that they want to talk to you. Make sure you assure them that whatever they tell you, they won’t get in trouble for coming to you.
Listen To Them
This is very important. Give them the chance to get out whatever it is that they need to say to you. Let them explain what the problem is without you interrupting or jumping in with suggestions or solutions. For many teenagers, they might not want you to try to fix things, but just want someone to listen to them while they talk. It can be hard to resist cutting in with advice but wait until they have finished talking and then ask if they want your advice before you offer it. If you let them talk, they will come to you again.
Whatever they tell you, avoid being judgmental or critical. If you do feel emotional, it’s better to save your feelings to talk over with another adult, such as their other parent, without your child. If they’re worried about upsetting you, making you angry, or being judged or criticized by you, they won’t come to you when they need help. After the conversation, thank them for coming to you, whether they wanted your advice about school work, birth control, or help to quit smoking with a cartrdiges ccell vape.
Take Your Time
If your teenager wants to talk about something you find hard and you aren’t sure if you can be calm about it, tell them you need some time to get your thoughts together and set a defined time to talk later. Make sure this time isn’t too far off. Don’t put off the conversation any further than the next day. If you wait much longer, you run the risk of your teen just going ahead without your input or advice. You can use a little time to give them better support, but don’t wait too long.
What other tips do you have for difficult chats with your teenager? Let me know in the comments below!