Find out what your teen needs to hear you say
Teenagers aren’t the scary alien-type of creatures some people make them out to be. In fact, teenagers can be absolutely, positively wonderful and a joy to be around. No, I didn’t fall and hit my head — it’s the truth. You just need to know what to talk about, how to talk to them and most importantly, how to listen…really listen to what they have to say.
What teens need to hear
Teens need to hear you say ‘I love you’ both in words and in actions. Tell them every day before they leave the house that you love them. Tell them every night before they go to bed. Show your love by giving your teens the benefit of the doubt, your time and attention.
Teens need to hear the word ‘no.’ Not about everything all the time, mind you, but they want to you to say ‘no’ sometimes. Your saying ‘no’ alleviates the stress and pressure in certain circumstances. I always told my children that they could make me the fall guy anytime they wanted and needed to. If my telling them ‘no’ was the excuse they gave for not going somewhere or doing something they didn’t feel comfortable with, then that was fine with me. Hearing the word ‘no’ also gives your teens boundaries and even though they may push against them, they want and need boundaries.
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Teens need to hear you say you are proud of them. They need your verbal affirmation that what they do matters to you. Teens need to hear that you are proud of them by your attendance at their games, contests, recitals and so on. By doing so they see and notice how proud you are in the wonderful, unique, special individual that they are.
Teens need to hear what you believe. Your teens are building their core values and moral standards based upon what you believe. A teenager is being bombarded with peer pressure left and right, pressure about what to do with their life, where to go to college, and who to be friends with. By hearing and seeing what you believe, you will be giving your teens a solid and firm foundation to build their lives upon.
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Teens need you to talk about the little things as well as the uncomfortable subjects. They need to know your opinions (whether they give them their due or not.) They need to know you are aware of the stresses and pressures they are under and that you are going to stay on top of things by being there to answer questions, listen and make sure they make good choices.
How well your teen listens
Your immediate response to this heading is probably ‘with ear buds in their ears’ or ‘not very well.’ But don’t count them out completely. Some of you have teens, who look like they don’t listen. They may act as if they aren’t hearing a word you say, but in reality they are taking it all in and storing it away for future use.
Others, unfortunately, aren’t very good listeners. They’re going to make their share of mistakes — maybe even more than their share. As their parent, though, you need to just love them, keep talking, listening, and never give up on your teen.
Let us know if these tips have helped you understand what your teen needs to hear!
Check out this video on what teens need to hear: