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How to Talk to Teens and Tweens: Strategies for Open Conversation

May 18, 2024

Mom and daughter talking strategies for open conversation with teens

May 18, 2024

Communicating is essential for building trust and fostering a healthy relationship but can be difficult with teens and tweens. Here are some strategies to help you create an open and supportive dialogue with your child.

1. Listen Actively

Active listening is key to understanding your child’s thoughts and feelings. Show genuine interest in what they say by maintaining eye contact, nodding and responding appropriately. Avoid interrupting or jumping to conclusions. Let them express themselves fully before offering your perspective.

2. Be Non-Judgmental

Teens are more likely to open up if they feel they won’t be judged or criticized. Create a safe space where they can share their experiences and opinions without fear of repercussions. Validate their feelings and let them know it’s okay to have different views.

3. Ask Open-Ended Questions

Encourage deeper conversations by asking open-ended questions that require more than a yes or no answer. Questions like “What was the best part of your day?” or “How do you feel about that?” can lead to more meaningful discussions and give insight into their world.

4. Respect Their Privacy

While it’s important to stay informed about your teen’s life, respecting their privacy is crucial. Avoid prying into their personal space or demanding answers. Instead, build trust by allowing them to share information at their own pace.

5. Be Patient and Consistent

Teens may not always be ready to talk when you are. Be patient and consistent in your efforts to engage them in conversation. Regularly check in with them and show that you are available and willing to listen whenever they need you.

6. Stay Calm During Difficult Talks

Conversations about serious or sensitive topics can become heated. Stay calm and composed, even if the discussion gets tough. Your child will be more likely to share openly if they know you can handle difficult subjects without losing your temper.

You’ve Got This!

Talking to teens and tweens requires patience, empathy and a willingness to understand their perspective. The strategies mentioned above will help you build a stronger, more trusting relationship with your child. Your goal is to connect with them, not to control them. With time and effort, you can nurture a positive and open line of communication that will benefit both of you.

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