Is your teen growing distant and there is no commmunication?

Today’s question is from a worried mother. Her question is, “My teenage daughter is growing distant, and there seems to be no communication with us”. And my answer to that question is, teenage children are going through various changes in their lives; hormonal changes, issues with their own identity, a lot of peer pressure where there’s a lot of conflict between family values and peer values. So their world is very very very complex.

So there are just two ways when teenagers tend to communicate or not communicate. One is when they explode in front of their parents for anything, and the other is when they become extremely withdrawn, and stop communicating.

So my advice for you today is:

1) How to help your teenager to listen to you, how to help them open their ears to you is when you are sitting with your teenage daughter or if you have a son, start the sentence, start the conversation with something like: “I understand what your going through, I know having a break in a friendship is very very hurtful for you, but we need to look at what the most important thing is right now, maybe its an assignment, a project or an exam next day, so lets look at how we can manage your time today so that you could work on your assignment and deal with the issue at hand without loosing anything, neither the friendship or assignment or the marks or whatever it might be”. So open the conversation with I understand how you’re feeling, I understand what you’re going through, and how we can make most of the situation.

2) Try and keep your emotions in check. Do remember that your teenager’s issues, mood swings, communication; non-communication is not a reflection of you. Like I explained earlier, your teenager is going through a variety of issues at the moment and their mood swings are to do what they are going through it’s got nothing to do with you. So stop taking their behavior as personal. Maybe you can have an affirmation in your mind to keep reminding you that I am a good parent and what she is going through is her issue but I am here to support her in the best way possible.

3) Ask questions to your teenager that are neutral, that are not accusation-al like “can’t you finish your homework on time?” instead of that maybe you can ask them questions like “how best do you think you can finish your homework?” or assignment or project or whatever it is, and ask questions which help them go inside themselves and become more resourceful. So ask questions that will make your teenager become more empowered instead of taking power away from them, instead of disempowering them by asking them something that is negative or accusation-al. So ask them questions like ‘ how best do you think you can finish this assignment’ or ‘how best do you think you can prepare for this’ ‘how best do you think you can manage your time in better way so that you can fulfill your…’ whatever they need to do.

4) Do not be reactive to you teenager. So this tug of war that is going on between your daughter or your son, about him or her exploding or if there is a lack of communication and they are sulking, so if you are constantly monitoring it and pulling and tugging at each other, just imagine how it would feel if you would let go and then they have nothing to pull or tug at. So relinquish your control over that behavior with regard to your teenager.

It is important as a parent to have boundaries for your children, but it’s also important as a parent to realize that you also have your own boundaries, the amount of things that you can do for your child. So their behavior and their reactions and there non-reactions are something to do with them and not with you, and especially during these teenager years, it is very very important.

5) Do not do or say anything when you are full of anxiety and anger. Come to a state of calm. I know sometimes as parents we are all humans and its very normal for you mums and dads to erupt. But once the situation is over, and you have brought yourself to a complete state of peace and calm, it is only then that you should approach your teenager and talk to them about what it might be that is bothering them.

The five points for you to open up the lines of communication with your daughter are:

1) Start the sentence with “I understand what you are going through”
2) Keep your own emotions in check.
3) Ask neutral questions that empower your child to solve their issues
4) Let go of the tug of war. Relinquish control
5) Take action when you are in a state of calm and control

So I hope that helps you. In case you want any further information or help, I offer a fabulous youth coaching program for children where I meet the children once a week for an hour, they bring their issues to the table and I help them resolve and get over with those issues. Do check the testimonials of the children and parents who have undergone my Youth Coaching Program on my Facebook page Athena Coaching Solutions where you will find testimonials of children going onto a part of discontent, unhappiness and disempower and through the youth coaching program they have evolved into children with more control, more happiness, more content and more leadership qualities, helping them to emerge as young, happy and successful children. For any further questions email me on sunainaathena@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you and serving you in the near future.