When was the last time you and your teen sat down and talked? I mean really talked?
As parents there are many times we sit our children down and tell them what we would like them to hear. Whether it be about their behavior, attitude, school, warnings, etc. Most of us expect them to hear us out, don’t argue or talk back, listen without distractions, and to then take that information and improve whatever we just discussed. I don’t think that is reaching too far outside the box, we have lived life a heck of a lot longer than they have and we have experiences that have taught us what works and what doesn’t and we will share our fears, worries, and concerns about them because we love them!
When your child comes to talk to you, do you give them the same consideration you expect them to give you? Do you let them talk, hear them out, validate their feelings and work on improving or helping them with what they have an issue with? The primary complaint I get from the teens I talk to is that they feel they can’t talk to their parents. Not that the door of opportunity isn’t there, but that when they do share their deepest, scariest feelings they are met with the following responses:
- their feelings are invalidated
- rude comments
- expectations they feel are too high
- not hearing what they are saying
- yelling first, discussing later
- being interrupted
When asked if in a perfect world what would a conversation look like with your parents, they responded with the following:
- Receive good feedback
- Overall understanding of what they say
- Understanding how they are feeling
- Being sincere
- Not interrupting
Pretty much, exactly what we ask of them, right? So they ARE listening to US and they ARE learning from US and now they expect that you would treat them with the same respect you would like. Doesn’t sound so far fetched, does it?
Next time you sit down and talk with your teen, turn off your electronics, give them the floor, listen without interrupting or reacting. Really try to see where they are coming from. It might seem trivial to you, however to them it will mean the world to be heard.
For more tips and free download go to… Tips on Effective Communication and Listening
With love, light, and laughter,