Adolescents are not always open to dialogue, their moods frequently oscillating from one to another. Here are some experienced tips from parents and psychologists, in order to break the silence with your teenager!
Define a frame
Develop internal rules together: the time allotted to your PC or other devices, no phone when eating, any meal (picking them up before lunch, for example, without replying to text messages, even if it’s for work). Approaching any subject, but in a kind manner. Neither insults, nor invectives, parents or teenagers. Without a pre-established framework, it is much easier to resort to anger, harsh feelings and unfortunate words or behaviors about what has happened in the past and beyond.
Make him/her your friend
Every night, avoid bombarding them with questions or asking them “behind bars”, otherwise they will close. To start a constructive dialogue, talk about yourself, the happy moments of your day, your unbearable colleague … Recreate a complicated situation. Example: “How about making a good chili together? Are you coming to help me in the kitchen?” “It’s better to sit next to each other than face to face to avoid the questioning side,” suggests Angélique Motte, co-author with Claire Raimbaud of “Almost Unstoppable Recipes for Opening Dialogue with Your Teenager.”
Avoid focusing on notes
“How much did you score on your test? Did you pass the exam well?” will immediately cause a rejection reaction. Instead, ask interesting questions: “Did you laugh today?”; “Tell me about the hottest moment, the worst moment.” It is necessary to address the adolescent more than the student and to cultivate his “hidden curriculum”, his extracurricular talents. Too much talking about school!
To promote dialogue, let’s cultivate the common family culture! “The good idea is to ritualize on Sunday night: the film tray and the table. Possibility to introduce teenagers in classic movies. Instead, once a month, they impose their choices on us! We can also share our playlists on Spotify or Deezer. Finally, we need to be interested in their video games, not necessarily to share a part, but to talk about characters, scores … ”
Schedule the challenges
Do teenagers love games? Yes, they do too. For example, offer a series of family games, like a challenge; 20 km of walking in one day, read ten books a year, write kind words on a stranger’s windshield, help three elderly people throughout the year … For this you can created a dedicated group on WhatsApp. It’s a great idea to encourage dialogue and strengthen relationships.
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