COMMUNICATE WELL

The Best Time To Talk To Your Teenager

boy lying on his back with his hands holding a phone up to his face

Parents often struggle to get their teenager talking to them or listening to instructions. When they try to get a conversation going they can get severe push back or complete silence.
But the fatal mistake they made was assuming it was a good time to try and talk. Because really, the best time, the only time you should be wanting to talk with teenagers, is when they are READY to talk.
But wait…before you start thinking I want you to let kids run the show, read on…

SO WHY WON’T KIDS ANSWER THE QUESTIONS?

Just getting general conversation happening can be painful at times. You can find yourself getting quite impatient and possibly even start arguing with them about it.

We conclude that the teenager is being rude, uninterested, thoughtless, refusing to talk or answer nicely, or worse, hiding something. 

It’s usually, not the case. 

So what’s wrong?

Nothing!

IT’S POSSIBLY GOT NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU

Your child might simply not be ready to have a conversation.  Not in a horrible way, but it’s physically impossible for them to string words together right then for whatever reason and they avoid doing it.

There are PLENTY of reasons they don’t want to be questioned;

KNOW YOURSELF TO KNOW YOUR TEEN

As adults, you would probably be able to tell me quite quickly whether you are a morning or evening person. You will also have a time of day or that you’re more likely to be relaxed.

Do you come home exhausted after work and just want to get changed and sit down OR are you super happy to get home and just want to take the kids to the park and play a little?

The same is true for your teenagers.  If you take some time and observe them, you will notice that they are far more chatty and receptive to others at a particular time in the day. 

Even a grumpy grunting teen will relax at some point, even if only for a few minutes.

But here are a few things you can do to make it easier;

2. Give them the time they need, you will know when they are rested, let them chill out for a bit and maybe take them some afternoon tea and see if they’re ready then.

WHEN IS THEIR BEST TIME

There are a few options for times of day that could be there best conversational time;

SOMETIMES IT WILL BE INCONVENIENT

We had the privilege of having toddlers at the same time as we had a teenager.

When we were completely wasted at the end of the day, we would go to bed about 9.30-10pm and our 14-15-16 year old boy would come out of his room, plonk himself on the end of our bed and begin to tell us about his day, a teacher, an issue, a thought he had. 

Did I want to listen…Not really. 

But did we listen…HECK YES! Carefully.

No way was I going to dismiss him ever! I would stay awake till midnight if I needed to.  No question.  

It’s not always convenient but when you know what they need, you won’t be surprised and you can make an effort to be available at that time. 

YOU CAN MAKE TALKING SO MUCH EASIER

If the morning is their time, get up a little earlier and be ready to chat when they are around.  They will be planning their day or working on a problem they have and they will be open to help and encouragement.

Slow down after school and spend a moment with them.  Make them a smoothie and yourself a coffee and sit down to listen. They will quietly satisfy their word limit for the day and their hungry tummy at the same time before going off to afternoon activities.

Evening meals are great for SO MANY things for your family that I won’t go into here, but if you have one member of your family that talks during family gatherings you have to make sure the meal happens when ever they are home for dinner. They need it!

Bedtime, my least favourite when they are small, but teens often come alive at night…they get a second wind of energy right when you want to watch some tv or read a book.

They want to talk about a teacher that’s giving them a hard time.  What are you going to do…make sure you are ready for bed yourself so when the talk is over you can go right to sleep.

You will find that when they are ready for conversation, it becomes a two-way street, and they are ok with that, it makes sense to them, and quite honestly, most of them want to hear what you think.

But if you listen, you will have the BEST talks.

I promise!

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