Counselor’s corner by martha comment, lscsw
Believe it or not, teens really want to talk with their parents. There are times parents can put up obstacles to good listening. We want to hear their heart and what they are thinking about. But, how many times does our conversations come to an abrupt halt? Have you ever seen your teen roll their eyes when you’re talking? That’s a clue that something has just happened in your exchange of ideas and words. When we step in to fix or rescue instead of listening, conversation can come to a stop. Listen as your teen tries to figure things out for herself, think out loud or take a verbal inventory. We often step in to “be a good parent”. We don’t want our kids hurt. Have you ever tried to talk your teen out of her feelings or perceptions? Do we interrupt to teach a lesson on morality or values? Teens have advice to improve communication: no lectures, be honest, don’t talk down, don’t be mad and overreact if we have the guts to tell you what we did wrong. So, what do we do? Say little. And listen. Just because you’re not talking doesn’t mean you’re listening. Give neutral statements, say back what you heard them say or might be feeling.