How to Get Your Teens to Listen Without Shutting Down

instruction manual
How to listen to teens when you talk

As a parent, few things are as frustrating as the impenetrable wall of silence from teenagers. You long to have an open and honest dialog with your teen about almost anything, but circumstances make it difficult to connect. And just when you think you have made progress in a conversation, your teen abruptly stops talking when you try to engage them further.


Their Turn to Become the Hero

The secret is always to make them the hero!

From birth, your child is dependent on you for almost everything. As your child grows, they become more independent, which can be very stressful for you (after all, heroes like to be the saviors of the day). But this is precisely the time to start parenting your child differently.

Instead of saving the day, you must let your child make their own decisions. Even some bad ones!

By putting them in charge of their lives, they realize they can make a difference on their own. They do not need you to do everything for them, and this newfound freedom helps create a climate of trust and understanding. Once conversations are no longer one-sided, your teen will be more willing to listen to you and have meaningful conversations with you (just so you know, this is not an overnight process).

Practicing Herofree Parenting, which emphasizes respectful dialog without criticism or expectations, builds a strong connection between you and your teen. In addition, this approach encourages independent thinking and self-awareness in teens.


7 Steps to Mastering Talking to Your Teen

Here's how to successfully apply the Herofree Parenting strategy when talking with your teen:

  • Ask Questions - Talk more like a conversation between two people than a lecture. Ask questions about what they are doing or talking about, and encourage your teen to give feedback and offer their opinions.
  • Validate Feelings - Avoid telling your teen what to feel or think; instead, validate their feelings by listening to them before offering advice or alternative perspectives. Sometimes teens want to vent; your job is to listen no matter how hard it is.
  • Maintain Respect - Speak honestly but respectfully; avoid raising your voice or using language that suggests superiority. Remember that respect goes both ways, so calm down if necessary before talking with your teenager.
  • Set Clear Boundaries - Make sure that both you and your teen know what behavior is acceptable in the home so that expectations are clear. This will help prevent arguments over little things that derail conversations.
  • Timing is Everything - When discussing serious matters, do not do so at chaotic times, such as right after school, when your teen needs time off, etc.
  • Take a Time Out - Taking a break is okay if a conversation gets a little out of hand. Tell the other person why you need a break and show them you care. Once everyone has calmed down, you can continue chatting!
  • Celebrate Successes - It's important to pat the other person on the back, even if it's just for small things. Achieving a goal - no matter how small - is something to be proud of. So take some time each week to acknowledge their successes.

Herofree parenting fosters strong relationships between parents and teens and creates positive connections. When you put this into practice, you can watch those bonds grow stronger over time!

And remember, sometimes the best conversations happen in the car - preferably with the stereo off!

Learning how to improve your relationship with your teen starts when you become a Herofree Parent.