Listening to teens is the key to building a strong bond in your parent-child relationship. It will help you gain trust and build connection with your teen. Below are some tips to focus on these skills.
- Be Present -Be in the moment and not distracted when talking to him/her. Put down the cell phone, don't text or answer the phone while you are together.
- Acknowledge and appreciate their emotional reality! – Try to find out where their reality is before you do anything else. Listen first (it doesn't mean you have to agree!)
- Ask good questions – Help your child understand their situation better. Most people ask questions to help them understand the situation better. A skilled question helps your child understand their situation better so they can figure out how they really feel and think about their situation.
- Offer perspective – It is always helpful to know that there are options and choices to choose from in any given situation. Help your child feel not alone.
- If solution is needed – give it in positive way or tell a story about someone(or you) when faced with a similar situation. Help instill confidence in your child that they too can handle the situation!
When taking these steps, always remember to listen to their reality first and don't take things personally. Listening is the key in any communication. Whatever you have to say will be more likely heard when you have fully listened first to your teen. Try to remember a time when you were younger ñ is there a person in your life who followed these steps?