Talking to your
How do you talk to a teenager who no longer wants
to take advice from a parental figure?
Part of the challenge is
to communicate with your child in a way that does
not assault their strong desire to be self
sufficient and independent. However, it is
essential to give your opinion about important
subjects. But how can you avoid sounding like you
are giving another boring lecture?
1. Begin by asking your
child what they think about the subject
2. Listen carefully and do
actually think about what they said.
3. Ask at least one
question about what they said to prove you were
really paying attention.
4. Try not to always go on
about the worst case scenario. There are infinite
other possibilities besides the worst
5. Praise the fact that
they have given the subject some good thinking, no
matter how outlandish their conclusions.
6. Offer your opinion in a
matter of fact way beginning with "I wonder if..."
never say "This is the way to do it..."
7. Expect total rejection
of your ideas at first and don't try to convince
anyone or defend your opinions.
8. Once you have given
your teenager your opinion in a non threatening
way, he or she will be able to accept the
information more easily and without emotional
tantrums. Maybe, just maybe, that will be enough to
help them make good decisions when you are not
* * *
Barrow holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and is
the author of the new book, Matchlines:
A revolutionary New Way of looking at relationships
and making the right choices in
love. She is an
authority on relationship and psychological topics,
a member of the American Psychological Association
and a licensed mental health counselor. Dr. Molly
has appeared as an expert on NBC, PBS, KTLA, and in
O Magazine, Psychology Today, Newsday, MSN.com,
Match.com, Women's Health and Women's World. Please
or Take the new relationship compatibility test,
Match Lines Systems for Successful Relationships
for Singles, Couples and Business at
Molly has a radio program, Your Relationship
Answers at www.blogtalkradio.com/drmollybarrow
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