Why is it so hard to talk to teenagers ?

Sharon - posted on 07/30/2009 ( 20 moms have responded )

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My teenager won't talk to me but will talk to others about problems she's having how do I build a relationship with her so she feels that she can talk to me about anything?

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Val - posted on 07/30/2009

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Let her talk, driving or sitting in a room, listen to what she likes to listen to, my 15 yr old tells me about her friends, about situations she have, about boys who like her. But I listen I only comment if she asks for advice, or I hear her getting into an area she should be cautious about, other wise I just listen.

Linda - posted on 12/08/2011

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The book " Five Love Languages of Teenagers" is a great book. It will help you understand what your teen values and favors in your attempts to communicate. Good Luck

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Thinkoutside - posted on 03/11/2013

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Maybe get some answers from teenagers. I'm 19, and i still live with my mom. I find it extremely difficult to talk to my mom because she (and i assume alot of parents) are really judgmental. She doesnt mean to be, but if i do something wrong, or if im doing something she considers wrong that she never did when she was my age, i deserve to be punished. My mom also has it in her head that because she pays the bills, that im her personal slave. Who would want to talk with a person like that? Parent or not.

Heather - posted on 08/03/2009

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don't even try,when you try too hard,you will just push her away.Wait for her to come to you,at least you know she has somebody to talk too.

Sandy - posted on 08/02/2009

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Letting her do all the talking is the key. I don't have girls, I have 3 boys. But the teenage girls in my neighborhood alway came to me for advise. Their bigest complaint was their mothers never just listen to them, they never let them speek their minds. When they get frustrated and want to swear i let them, without correcting them. I never interupt and only let them know what I think when they ask. Some of the teenagers say I can speek their language, and can understand where they are coming from, I'm 40 years old, far from the teenage years. But I've kept up with the times, I play PS2, I have a mp3, I know how to text message, and I am currently on facebook, twitter, and myspace. I hope this helps.

Erica - posted on 08/02/2009

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It's hard, the relationship had to grow. I have always talked to my girls, 15, 13.11. sometimes they think they know it ALL. but it is hard

Diane - posted on 08/02/2009

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I have a 17 year old daughter to has gone through this phase and is mostly out the other side of it. Two things she always told me was she wasn't sure how I was going to take what she was saying, so found it better to talk only to her friends. I always ask to talk, encouraged her to talk and listened to "everything" she said even when we weren't sitting down to talk. Listening to everything was probably the biggest key. It helped to gain some perspective of what she was doing or who she was talking about and I could build small conversations that way. Once I gained some confidence that way she started to open up. It was not an overnight thing. The only thing that seemed to happen overnight going from her telling me everything to her telling me nothing. It has taken the better part of 3 years to keep the communication going. Now she comes to me first to talk to me. I am her friend as well as her mother, but she knows "mother first". She sometimes says "I don't know if I should tell you this". I laugh and tell her to go ahead. 9 times out of 10 it's never something that involves her, but helps me to understand her. So I am just encouraging you to always be there, never miss an opportunity to talk and support her when she needs it. Little wins will eventually lead to a great relationship. Good luck.

Myra - posted on 08/01/2009

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Building the TRUST is the "key". I was a divorced mom with my oldest and we were exceptionally close, could and still do talk about everything. My youngest almost 16 has been the challenege,we talk, argue and she is very head strong. I know we have taught her correctly, right from wrong, etc. She does talk to us but she still has her own opinions and does what she thinks is correct in her eyes, but will always talk to me in the end about everything.

Tammy - posted on 08/01/2009

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I feel we as parents want our children to be able to talk to us about anything. I've two girls one that is 20 and the other one is 13. My 20 year old we have a great relationship. My 13teen year old it is a little different. I feel she is at the age that she does not want to confined in me about everything that is going on in her life so she tells her older sister or a friend. Yes it bothers me a little but I am not going to push her where she does not tell me anything at all. I just let her know that I'm here if she wants to talk and if she needs me I'm am always here. I always let her know that I love her and how beautiful she is inside and out.

Shelly - posted on 07/31/2009

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Sharon,

Just start to talk to her about whats going on in your life...Share with her some of the things that you are struggleing with...She needs to know that you can trust her with your secrets....Be careful in the beginning b/c she will try to use it against you...Building that trust is a two way street...Good Luck and let us know how it's going

Shelley - posted on 07/31/2009

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Key is Listening and try to be interested in what they are interested in no matter what. Don't pry just listen. My daughters are 15 & 16 and we have excellent relationship. I know they don't tell me absolutely everything but who tells everyone everything including adults. Too many questions and too much advice usually causes teens to clam up. Good luck!

[deleted account]

By the time a child reaches the teen years a solid relationship is a must. It's no longer about your authority...it's all about your relationship. You have to be able to trust that the foundation you've already built is solid enough for her to make SOME decisions on her own. She needs to see you trust and respect her. She has to experience the consequences of her decisions. Once you are a parent of a teen, you are now a guide and coach (parenting from the sidelines is hard!)

Laura - posted on 07/31/2009

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As I tell my teenage girls, If your car breaks down, are you going to take it to some guy that works on chainsaws or are you going to take it to a mechanic? Doesn't it make more sense to take your problems to someone who has the life experience to actually help than to other teenage children who don't know anything more than you do?
Ya. Don't tell your teens this. It's tantamount to declaring war. I can tell you what NOT to do because I've made EVERY mistake in the book. I'm an evil "psycho mom" because I don't see any reason for a 15 year old to dress sexy. I'm the "wicked witch of the west" because I can't stand rap and won't have it in the house where I can hear it. They wanna listen to that garbage, they can use headphones. I'm "The worst mom ever" because I won't spend a hundred bucks a month on a cell phone for them when I can't afford a tracfone for myself. I'm a "selfish hag" because my husband and I refuse to move into town and be miserable so my teenage girls can have a social life and we don't have the gas money to run the hour long commute to take the teens to their friends and back all the time.
Suffice to say, I've grown used to being "the worst mom on earth" when it comes to my teens. Getting the 15 year old to talk at all mans a big blowup fight for a couple hours before she breaks down and tells what's going on in her life. That's the only way to get her to talk to those that matter at all. The 13 year old is a bit better but really is a private person (always has been). But she hears all the crap with her older sister and learns from it. She's managed to avoid a lot of the problems that way.
Don't end up walking my road if you can avoid it. It's not a good road to walk but it's all I have now. Good luck.

Karen M. - posted on 07/31/2009

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Well Sharon, you have some wonderful advice posted here, all with a common thread... Listening to your girl. This has proven to be true in my experience as well. It isn't always easy, especially because I can see around my daughter's corner and know what's coming, and wanting to avoid her the hurt or dismay. But, it works, and it won't be long before she starts coming to you for advice and bringing you into her circle. Afterall, she will realize that you are in her corner.
Best regards,
Karen:)

Peggy - posted on 07/30/2009

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I have 3 teenage daughters and we are all very close. They tell me things, and we talk often. I'm sure that my 17 year old tells me everything. I know every detail of every day and every conversation she has with everyone she talks to in the course of the day. My 14 year old comes to me when she needs me or when she needs advice. She knows she can tell me anything and it's going to be alright. She talks to her friends about alot of the stuff that she wants to handle without Mommy. My oldest has never been one to open up to me very easily. She has a cousin that she feels more comfortable talking to about alot of things and Im okay with that. She talks to me when we need to talk and we have great conversations and fun about every day things. I think it's okay if they want to talk to someone else as long as they have someone to talk to and they know that they can come to you anytime. Just make sure they know that you are there and you will listen and not judge and will love them no matter what.

Danielle - posted on 07/30/2009

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My daughter is 15 and we have a pretty open relationship. I feel the key to that is listening. I am not quick to judge. I give her advice only as a suggestion. If I feel she needs my guidance, I make suggestions. I let her know that I have been through the same situations and what I did or didn't do to resolve them. Be sure to take interest in her, even if you think it's something petty, It probably feels like a real problem to her. Sometimes kids just need to vent after a hard day and having you to listen will build that mother/daughter relationship you crave. Also, I wouldn't be too upset she is talking to other people. At least she is talking to someone about her problems.

Angela - posted on 07/30/2009

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I have also told my daughter horrifying stories about things I went through as a teenager and I think that helped her to realize that yes, maybe I might actually know how she feels.

Hilary - posted on 07/30/2009

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I know exactly where you are coming from! I have 2 daughters 17 and 12yrs. Both of them are/has been extremely hard to handle and prickly cos what ever i said/asked about school or friends etc.was met by a derogatory 'mind your own business' or worse.She too would talk to her friends rather than unload on me.
I'm glad to say that the elder one has come out of this awful phase when I couldn't do or say anything that she liked.I would tell her every now and again that if she wanted to talk I was there and eventually she came round and bit by bit confided in me.
My 12 yr old now she has started secondary school is going through exactly the same thing and has great lines in 'put me downs'. Yes it hurts but some days are better than others. I'm getting more friends round for sleepovers and trying to do more with her and she will occassionally come for a hug at night before I go to bed so we are getting there.Although it does feel like 2 steps forward 1 step back at times.

If you have a bad day or just want to chat - sometimes a problem shared helps and maybe you've got some strategies that i could use too lol

Angela - posted on 07/30/2009

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I highly recommend that you read the book, "Five Love Languages of Teenagers". It gives great insight as to how teens think. I feel soooo lucky that my daughter and I do have a good relationship. I think it began because anytime she does talk to me I listen and do not interrupt or give her unsolicited advice. (even though it KILLS me sometimes to sit and be quiet) She knows she can tell me anything without me judging her or telling her what to do. I try to ask her questions so she can decide on her own what to do. Of course the questions I ask majorly steer her towards the choice I would love to tell her to take. But if she thinks she came up with the solution herself, it goes over much better than her mom telling her what to do. I just know that for us it is best if I don't approach her with an agenda, but just to chat as friends and then maybe lead into a topic. Don't know if that will help with your situation or not. Good luck!

Shirley - posted on 07/30/2009

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Sharon,



I have to 12 yr olds and I also have 17 yr old neice, I think that we as parents seem to double check ourselves when talking to teenagers about personal stuff sometimes we ask is this the right way to word this ? And I think teenagers just believe parents wont understand or don't care!!! I'd just tell her that if she ever wants to share what's on her minds your there. Also it could help if you shared with her something that happened to you at her age, (emarassments, guy situations, perpressure etc.) pest of luk

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