Ever asked your teen ‘How was school today?’ or ‘What’s your new teacher like?’ and received a one-word reply? A teen who doesn’t say much can make it hard to have a conversation.
Active listening is a great way to help you have positive conversations with your teenager. It is amazing how many little things you can do when you are listening to your teenager that can make a huge difference to the conversation. Here is how it works:
When your teenager is talking to you, try to make eye contact with them. Looking your teenager in the eye is important to show them you are listening, but don’t overdo it.
Posture says a lot. If you lean forward in your chair, it says you are part of the conversation and you want to know more. Even just leaning sideways and resting your head on your hand is good. Whatever feels comfortable for you.
Without even thinking about it, you are probably already mirroring your teen’s expressions when they talk. If they smile, you smile. If they frown, you do too. You do not have to force it. Just be aware of it and let it happen naturally.
Stay in the moment
The last thing to think about is how much you are actually in the moment. Try not to be distracted by the television or your phone. Try to give your teen your undivided attention when you are talking together.