Your teen probably doesn’t have the maturity to communicate this to you, but all communication (and all relationships) start with safety. Emotional Safety.
If your teen is afraid of feeling judged, scolded, disciplined, or pep-talked by you…they won’t open up.
One of the most common ways that human beings deal with stress, conflict and/or pain is to “avoid”, “stonewall” or “shutdown”.
If your teen is regularly reacting to you with one of these three unhealthy coping strategies, there is a chance it is because you have allowed it. Maybe you have even modeled it.
Entitlement is a common issue with modern teens. Many teens feel like they deserve things form their parents and they do not do anything in exchange.
Us parents want the same things for, and from, our kids. We want respect, kind communication, grades, chores, family time, responsibility and the confidence that our son/daughter is trending in the direction of adult-like independence and maturity.
If your teen is entitled, and if you are entitling them (is that a word?), then you may not get communication.
“Why would I talk to you? What’s the point? What’s in it for me? Leave me alone.”
This is what entitlement sounds like y'all.
Us parents all have a "vibe". A tone. An approach. It can be difficult to see it in ourselves, but if your communication vibe comes off as naggy, reminding, pep-talky, bossy, scolding, shaming or lecture-y…there is no way your modern teen is going to talk to you, be open with you, or be close with you.
I started working with teenagers when I was 20-years-old (21 years ago!) I had a mentor named Rich who trained me well. The first piece of advice I received, was the best piece.
“Teenagers don’t need to listen to you…or anyone. You have to earn the right to be heard.”
This applies to parents. Yes, it’s true. Just because you are the mom/dad doesn't mean they will listen or care.
If your teen doesn’t…
feel close to you…
enjoy speaking with you…
they will not listen to you.
Instead, earn the right to be heard by being close, respectful, kind, non-judgy, real and personal.
When you have their heart, you will have their ear.
Stay Strong. Be Close. Teach Wisdom.
Founder of ParentingModernTeens.com
Click HERE to take Sean's parenting class, “How to Get Teens to Listen, Communicate and Thrive- Without the Stress!”
Click HERE to read “7 Things EVERY Teen Guy Needs to Hear From His Parents.”
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