Once upon a time I was a teenager and my conversations with my mother were always strained. Even today they are still like pulling teeth, but the effort continues. As long as you keep trying and never stop trying to talk to your teenager they will have to acknowledge you. The real problem is getting to the core of the reluctance. Why are they reluctant to talk to you in the first place? What is the lingering issue that causes them to close down when you want to talk? Here are a few tips on how to talk to a reluctant teenager.
You already know why your teenager doesn’t want to talk to you if you are tuned in to your child, so stop pretending. Teens are not stupid and the more you pretend that everything is alright the worse it will get. Be honest with your child and lay the truth down before them. They will be happy to talk even if it is loud and ugly. What issues are going on in your household? Is it causing a strain on your family? Is there something going on at school that may be bothering your child? Get to the real issue and don’t try to sugar coat things.
Be open and approachable
Sometimes a teen doesn’t know who to talk to about their problems. They may feel that you will judge them if they come to you and so they shut down. If you are the parent with the strong intimidating personality, you may need to dial that down a few notches. It can be overbearing to talk to someone that is so set in their ways and inflexible. Help them to feel safe enough to tell you what is on their minds at all times. Hear them out before you jump down their throats.
Get some support
If your teen is not talking to you, maybe you both should get a mediator to help out. Try bringing in someone that they trust to sit in the room, so that they will feel more at ease in expressing how they really feel. It can be very comforting to have someone else around to keep things calm and light.
I ‘d always feel better when I had my aunt in the room when I would talk to my mother, because she would always assume the worse and start screaming. She wouldn’t do that in front of someone she respected. You will notice the difference in the conversations right away when there is another person listening that you both care about.
Going to a therapist can also be very helpful to the situation. If you both are willing, give it a try. Use all of your options available to keep your family relationship strong.