Getting Tweens and Teens to Talk
According to and article in the March 2012 issue of Good Housekeeping, getting tweens and teens to talk can make dinner conversation feel like a trip to the dentist. So, they asked parents: What's your best way to tease out a conversation from a kid who answers every question with "Fine" or "Nothing"?
Mel Horrod (mom of two, ages 8 and 13) - "Don't shut down a conversation by starting with your own judgements or advice. Just let them speak, and only give advice if they ask for it."
Amy Patterson McPherson (mom of two, 19 and 21) - "I've found the conversation flow more freely when we are involved in an activity together, like cleaning the house, shopping, or driving in the car."
MaryAnn Dubbs (mom of five, ages 20 to 36) - "Getting them in the car for a trip with the radio off; 15 minutes of silent air can really begin a conversation. I've learned so much that way."
Sonya Jongsma Knauss (mom of four, ages 5 to 13) - "For some reason, giving my teen daughter a nice back and neck massage before bed leads to a great conversation nearly every time."
I feel the keeping communication open with your tweens and teens is extremely important. Start while they are young by talking about their feelings and interest and it isn't as difficult as they get in those teen years. Welcome their friends and stay involved in their activities and interest. Monitor their TV, video games, and computer chatting activities, while they are young. Teach them the proper use and your expectations. Don't be overbearing, but a concerned parent, by explaining the dangers of not being safe on today's technology websites. Check emails, facebook, tweets weekly so they understand you are monitoring their activities. As they become older and more responsible, give them a little more independence and with independence comes more responsibility.