Q[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text] My daughter often answers questions with one-word answers. “Where are you going?” “Out” “When will you be back?” “Later.” “Who will you be with?” “My friends.” Sometimes my teen age daughter just rolls her eyes and looks right past me, or listens but remains silent. It makes me feel distant from her. I see that she has many friends, socializes well and spends hours talking to friends. We used to be so close. I am having a hard time and worry we are losing the connection to each other. — A Parent
[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]A[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text] Kav L’Noar answers:
The natural process a teen goes through on his/her way to adulthood can be difficult for parents. When teens refuse to talk, parents may feel rejected. This often is painful. Pestering the teen to communicate often pushes him/her further away.
Your teen daughter (or son) is breaking away from you so that she’ll eventually be able to stand on her own as a young adult. Her friends bridge the gap between dependence on parents to becoming a full-functioning independent adult. That’s why she talks nonstop to them but not to you. In order to determine who she is right now, she needs to separate from you.
You are communicating with your daughter by the way you treat and appreciate others. So, communication is happening, even if verbal conversations are not. She has been listening and observing your behaviors and absorbing your values and what you consider important from this process. Think about how you speak to your children and you may find that your words are exactly the same words that your parents spoke to you.
5 Parenting tips that may help
1. FOOD AND FEELINGS — Sometimes the best conversations parents have with their teens occur when they make a special time for just the two of them to go out for a meal.
2. TALK ABOUT VALUES — Don’t let her silence silence you. Be honest. Say what you believe, what you care about. Say what you’re not sure about. Say what you don’t know. If you say you want to think about something make sure you get back to them about it.
3. ASK WHAT – NOT WHY! — Use open ended questions to encourage conversation.
4. LISTEN AND ENCOURAGE — This is, of course, the single the most important part of helping kids open up. Don’t talk, listen. Reflect back what they’re saying so they know you understand, and then be quiet so they can talk more. Don’t jump in with solutions and advice- reflect feelings and then help them brainstorm solutions
5. BE AVAILABLE — When they are ready to talk, seize the opportunity, don’t put it off because you are busy with something else. ( even if it is 1 a.m. and you are sleeping)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_facebook][/vc_column][/vc_row]
*All names and identifying details have been changed to protect client confidentiality. Picture is for illustrative purposes only.