The Best Places to Talk to Your Teen
Communication is important when raising teenagers. There is so much change that happens during these years which is why it is especially important to utilize conversation. Learning exactly what to say and what role to take as you move through your day together will provide a strong base of communication for you to build upon in your relationship.
Car – This is where you spend a lot of time with your teen. Whether it’s ferrying them back and forth to various afterschool activities and friends’ homes or on a long road trip, you’ve got your teen exactly where you want them and they can’t run away from you. Use this time to talk about your destination, their activities and to encourage them. This is a great time to gauge their feelings and to let them know you know they are smart, capable and hardworking enough to achieve whatever challenge is set before them. Be their cheerleader.
Couch – When watching a TV show or sporting event with your teen, take the time to talk during the commercial breaks. Get a quick movie review from them after the main show. These short bursts of time help you to see what the teen is thinking about various storylines or sporting plays and will help you understand your teen’s personality on a fun level. Be their friend.
Dinner Table – A fun, easy ritual to have with your family is to play the “high/low” game. Have each family member share their favorite and least favorite part of their day. Listen to what they say and how they say it to gain insights as to what is going on in their daily life. It will help you learn what is most important to your teenager as well. Use this time to give advice and share similar stories with them. Be their mentor.
Bedtime – Teenagers feel safe to discuss their most pressing and sometimes embarrassing issues when the lights are off and right before they fall asleep. They don’t want to go to sleep with heavy issues weighing in on their hearts, so they will often unload at the very end of their day. Be there to listen to what they say. Offer a hug, comforting words and practical help to fix whatever problems are at hand. Be their comfort.