How to talk to a teenager

Talking to a sibling, cousin or a child, who are in different stages of life

You start to make decisions that have real life consequences College, friends, driving, and substance use. Coping with emotional challenges is tough at this stage, and there is a chance of risk and impulsive decisions.

A healthy relationship with teen during these years will payoff. Interference in their decisions and wants would come across as hostile.

While they're an open book to their friends, who they talk to constantly via text messages, they might become mute when asked by mom about how their day went.

Be focused and build awareness that it is a tough time for both you and the teen. It is a phase which will pass.


  1. Listen - Simply sit back and listen what they have to say.

  2. Validate their feelings - Let them solve their problems, this way you build confidence. and acknowledge age appropriate disappointments. But saying something like "She wasn't right for you anyway" after a romantic disappointment can feel dismissive. Instead "that sound difficult."

  3. Take them seriously - Teens want to be taken seriously, especially by their parents or guardians. Let them take the game.

  4. Be thoughtful of their independence - A thoughtful explanation about why parties on school nights are not a good idea will make it more reasonable.

  5. Be observant - It's normal for kids to go through some changes as they mature, but pay attention if you notice changes to her mood, behavior, energy level, or appetite. Likewise, take note if he stops wanting to do things like that used to make him happy.

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