Here are Some Ways to Keep Teens Talking.

Listen with
an open mind
A teen’s ideas and opinions deserve consideration. Embracing your child’s point of view and taking it seriously encourages them to see that your advice is based on true understanding.
Respond to the
present moment
Focus on what your child is saying now, not what they’ve said in the past, what you think he or she should be saying, or what you believe.
Keep it
informal
Meal times, in the car doing errands, or other activities you may do with your teen are great times to talk.
Ask open-ended
questions
Get teens thinking and talking rather than giving them opportunities for a simple yes or no.

Communication Stopper Alert!

Accusations
“I know you’re drinking.”
Interruptions
“I don’t want to hear your excuses.”
Prior Agenda
“I want to get to the bottom of your lies.”
(Deciding what’s going to be discussed before your child has a chance to talk)
Rushing
“Remember, no alcohol or drugs. Have a good time at the party.”

“Will there be drinking at the party?”

“If there’s drinking at the party, what will you do?”

“Have you ever tried marijuana?”

“What do you think about marijuana and kids who use it?”

“Do any of your friends do drugs?”

“If your friends wanted to try a drug, how would you handle that?”

“You need to think for yourself.”

“What’s the hardest thing you deal with when it comes to just being yourself around your friends?”

Recognize the importance of follow-up questions

Kids have a lot on their minds. Asking follow-up questions helps your message stick. Things like …. “Now tell me again what you do if you go to a party where a lot of people are using drugs?” Follow-up questions are important because they:

Help create accountability

Show you have a genuine concern for the end result

Create opportunities to extend your conversation

Offer another way to check in and stay connected