Anger about not being trusted. Some teens interpret a request to talk as a sign that you do not trust them. Reassure your son or daughter that you are not suspicious and are doing this to help them, not attack them. Your CARING about the teen Wanting to UNDERSTAND the teen Wanting to HELP the teen RESPECTING the teen’s privacy and desire to be independent Emphasize these themes:
AVOIDING POTHOLES Sometimes teens react badly when parents try to discuss sensitive topics. Here are ways to address their concerns. (Adapt them to your teen’s personality as appropriate.) Fear of getting a lecture. Teens may be open to talking, but the last thing they want is a one-way lecture from parents about right and wrong. Studies show that teens drink more when they come from homes where parents are perceived to lecture too much. Teen: “I know what you will do if we talk. You’ll lecture me like you always do. Then if I argue you will interrupt me.” Parent: “You’re right. This time I won’t lecture. I will listen to what you think.”
Keep It Constructive! Do your best to keep communication channels open. Most of all, be constructive in your responses to your teen, not defensive or angry.
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