Teen: “What’s the matter, don’t you trust me?”
Teen: “I’ve heard it all before. We don’t need to talk.”
Parent: “I trust you. But this is a very important issue, and I think we need to pool the information we know to make sure you deal with everything effectively and that you know what to expect and what to do. To do that, we need to talk to each other.” Fear of punishment. Teens may fear you’ll treat them harshly right from the start. Teens who fear punishment communicate less often with their parents. Studies show these teens tend to initiate drinking, drink more often, and are more likely to experience alcohol-related consequences. Teen: “Sure, talk with you and you won’t let me go out. Forget it.” Parent: “I promise that I won’t be that way. I will listen to you. I’ll take what you say seriously. I’ll be straight with you and you be straight with me.” He/she thinks they already know it all. Some teens don’t want to talk because they believe they already know everything there is to know about a topic. Studies show that when teens feel they can trust their parents and are trusted by them, they are less likely to drink.
Parent: “You probably already know quite a bit. It would make me feel better if we talked it through. Besides, it would help me to better understand how things are different from when I was your age.” Studies show that when teens feel they can trust their parents and are trusted by them, they are less likely to drink.
Teens may think they know everything, but they often do not. Don’t let this objection stop you from trying to communicate.
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