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If you have a closed off teen you will need to be creative to get the information you seek. With one of my children I spent time with them and tried to ask things in a way that did not pry but at the same time helped open the line of communication. Many times I was shut down. When this happens – do not take it personally, just try a different method – get creative! Create an environment that says you will listen, get them in a neutral location and put down all your walls, have some fun then watch and listen.
When something is concerning, do not react as you normally would that may shut down the conversation (work on your shock and awe face). If your child feels that by sharing openly with you they will get a lecture or in trouble they will not open up. Also get to know and listen to interactions with their friends. Those friends gave me more information than my child ever did. It was the information I gained from friends that sparked a lot of conversations about choices and the consequences of bad choices. I tried to work hard and got little, it was frustrating. Always let you teen know you are there so if they do decide to open up it’s you they come to.
A Fellow Parent
Communicating with a teen can be tricky. They do not always want you to know what they are doing or thinking, these are closed off teens. While other teens will tell you all you want to know and all you have to do is find the right questions and listen. These are open teens.
The first issue is finding out which teen you have. If you have a closed off teen you will need to be creative to get the information you seek. If you have an open teen creating the time open ears are two essentials. Being willing to have nothing off limits is important we well. Believe when I say there were times I wanted to say-oh no, I do not want to hear this, but I did not. Just be careful, you may hear more than you ever wanted to know.
Communication take place when the pressure if off. My kids and I have been in the car, I pulled into a parking lot and we sat and talked. Other times they needed me to be busy and not look them in the eye to get their story out – that was okay too, I kept driving. When kids say they need to talk try your best not to put them off, or you may never find out what they wanted to say.
Prayer is the most important element of all!!!! The Holy Spirit is a good tattle tale when it’s needed. Stay in constant communication with the Holy Spirit.
A Fellow Parent