By Laurie Hollman, Ph.D.
When children reach their teen years, they’d like to believe that they no longer need any instruction or advice from their parents. Yet they continue to need the same loving care, but in new ways that respect their growing autonomy.
Central to teenagers’ needs is the ability of their parents to listen to them and to respect their ideas, points of view, feelings and intentions. This requires that parents learn to listen nonjudgmentally without interrupting, correcting or blaming. When a teen feels heard, she feels respected and forms a good relationship with her parents.
How do parents effectively listen to their teens?
It’s important that parents take the time needed to have both casual and serious discussions with their teens. Beginning with casual discussions opens the door to conversations about more serious issues. Hanging out with your teen, talking together in the car, doing chores together and setting rules and boundaries together all allow teens to feel confident that their parents care and respect them. Respect is key to having your adolescent want to talk with you often and openly. [Read more…]