An article by Lou Tice...
Parents of teenagers often complain that they can't get their kids to communicate. Sometimes there are good reasons why.
Teenagers really want to be able to talk to their parents. In fact, in some cases, they're dying because they can't. Most teens who commit suicide are those who feel they can't talk to either parent, and their feelings of loneliness, isolation and despair take over.
Parents, without realizing it, do things that stop their teen-aged children from confiding in them. What sorts of things? Well, they interrupt to give reprimands and lectures instead of just listening, giving support and saving the moral lesson for another time.
Or, they discount what the teen is feeling by making it seem trivial or unimportant, especially when compared to the grown-up responsibilities parents must cope with.
If you catch yourself behaving in these ways when your teenagers try to talk with you, stop and apologize. Your teenager will appreciate your efforts to change your behavior to gain a closer relationship, and he or she will give you another chance - maybe not on the spot, but soon.
If your communications have broken down completely, a few visits to a good family therapist can help get you back on track. Few things in life are as important as your relationship with your kids. Why not make it as good as it can possibly be?
by Lou Tice
Learn more or read more at:
The Pacific Institute