Any great ideas for teenage silence?

Diane - posted on 10/06/2010 ( 20 moms have responded )

9

2

2

I am a mother of 3, the older two are in college and the 3rd is 15. My youngest is quiet compared to his siblings. I am looking for new ways to possibly help him open up a little more. We have a good relationship and enjoy hanging out together but it seems when we talk he gives those infamous short answers.

Thank you

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Louise - posted on 10/07/2010

5,429

69

2296

We had a family game night every once in a while where we would just play daft board games and eat snack foods. This made us all relaxed and opened many doors into conversations. One to one with some teenagers is not what they want as they feel interragated. A game called pass the bomb made us laugh and chat more and Cranium really got us up on our feet and laughing. Break the ice in this informal way and he may open up to you more.

Cassie - posted on 10/19/2010

1

1

0

I have all girls, the youngest is 15. Just keep the line of communication open. I have found that laughter is the best way to make them open up. Being silly and laughing with your kids opens all kinds of doors. Of course there are times when you have to be serious but the silly times make the serious times alot easier.

Denise - posted on 10/14/2010

2

14

0

There are already several great ideas from other moms. I found the best time, though, is when we are working on a project, or playing games. We are busy doing something with our hands and it creates a time for the mind to open up for sharing and/or listening.

Donna - posted on 10/13/2010

204

23

2

I have a 28 year old daughter who loves to talk and a 24 year old son who is quieter like me. Try asking him things he can't answer with one word answers. Get involved with what he likes doing. Play his favourite video game with him or watch a TV show with him and talk about it. Take him out for lunch just the two of you where there are no distractions and you can talk. Also being quiet could be just his personality and you instead of trying to change it embace it.

Kathy - posted on 10/12/2010

22

0

0

One thing I have learned with my now-23 and 21 year-olds is to just "be" in the same space with them. Don't ask questions (too many, and they think you're prying), don't bother casting around for conversation starters, (they know!) .. just be. Mine wouldn't always talk about immediate things, but sooner or later, they'd open up. The other good strategy was to get in the car with them. Seems that the enclosed enforced privacy with me unable to turn and look at them was liberating. I learned more about what was in their heads in the car than probably anywhere else.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

20 Comments

View replies by

Sarah - posted on 10/28/2010

27

82

0

Boys are known for their short answers. THey are not like girls in that manner. Girls are socially driven and boys are internally driven. Thats why their wiring is different. God made men to be the head of the home and to be the breadwinners so to speak to be driven internally. He made women to be social and motherly and not as internal. Think of it this way, if a man had to deal with the everyday multitasking that a woman has to, how long would he last before crumbling? If they had to deal with the 'sex' talks with girls and the emotions of breaking up or being pregnant, I think there would be no problem with teen pregnancies. Give him space, but let him know you are there. Drop a note in his lunch, or send a special treat with his lunch, something to let him know you love him and are there if he needs you.

Karen - posted on 10/21/2010

11

20

0

When my 3 older kids left home the youngest was quiet to my surprise! I found put she has an introvert personality. This means that she listens, but has a different way of processing conversations. She found a book which helped us communicate. the Introvert Advantage: How to thrive in an Extrovert world. by Marti & Michael. Also is The hidden gifts of the introverted child. Now before you think that's not my child! It definitely gave me new insight to my daughter and my husband! Mind you we have been together for 33 yrs! They want to talk but need time to think about the simplest response. We now have better communication tools for all involved. It was worth the read!!

Kimberly - posted on 10/19/2010

13

9

0

My boys are now 25, 21 & 19. When they were teens we used to do large puzzles. Every Sunday we would play basketball at home. Two of my boys were into sports esp. soccer. Sports gets the whole family involved and the child feels important that you are there for them.Cheering them on and talking about the game afterwards opens up conversation.
Since there are no school buses here, I would drive them to school and back. I felt it important to talk to my boys. They knew they could trust me and I was there for them anytime of the day or night. We can talk about anything and everything now. When there friends would come over i would sit with them and chat and then give them there space.

Gretchen - posted on 10/18/2010

7

17

0

hlo mom dont fret out when he doesnt want to speak up ... coz there are kids who are late bloomers he could be one of them ... its better that u have a "good relationship and enjoy hanging out together" rather than getting the opposite and much more he is enjoying ur company i guess thats all what he needs for now ... just be yourself and dont nag coz he might not like it ... never push coz he will stay away from u .. my son is all of 22 but he doesnt want to go back to school coz he doesnt like me paying his school tuition so stop nagging him with his schooling but he opens up with me about his business venture so i give him all my support ... but deep in me i wanted him to finish at least 2nd year college ... he also is not the talkative type he doesnt stay at home either he comes home early morning ... i lift up to God this problem coz as a mom it breaks my heart that he is still not home at 1 or 2am ... but i taught myself never to nag or he will be away from me for good ... he doesnt want to be dictated what to do so i stop ... in general we meet eye to eye but loving and caring and support is all i can give him ,,,, just take one step at the time with ur kid he is still digesting what and who he is himself and he is coming out of the most awkward age 13-15 years old ... just give him the loving support a mother can give ... and smile often when he is around ... :-)

Diane - posted on 10/15/2010

9

2

2

Thank you for all the great feed back moms, it is great to have a network where one can connect with others who have sailed or are sailing in the same boat. : )

Liz - posted on 10/14/2010

61

0

3

My son who is 16, and the last of 5 sons, talks to me when he gets home from school. He will sit and tell me what is going on, only because I ask him, and have since he was very young. it is something that I started when he was in the 6th grade. now he talks about his days with me. We also eat dinner together every night. My husband travels at times and since it is only the two of us, we sometimes go out for dinner at Applebees or Village Inn. It works well for us. But be forewarned that some boys do not like to talk a lot, espically about feelings and things like that. They are used to giving one or two word answers and will clam up when asked about their feelings. Just be patient, start with the one or two word answers, and soon the mouth will losen up, when he feels more comfortable about talking to you, because what boy wants to talk to his mother about "stuff". It is not that he does not love you or trust you, it is just that "you're his MOTHER". It may take some time.

Mary - posted on 10/14/2010

53

22

1

I also work at my kids high school and I live to embarrass them!!! I think sometimes the shock of what I am going to do NEXT has also made him come out his shell! One of the first days I was at the high school I chased my son (not really ) down the hall way saying, "CODYYYYYYY momma LOVES YOU!!!" The look of death in his eyes was priceless.... And now, I get to do it to my middle child - and her friends pick up where I left off - "Hey Brooke, your mom told me to tell you that she LOVES YOU!"

Mary - posted on 10/14/2010

53

22

1

Diane- my son is/was the same way... I don't know what to tell you only that it could change as he gets a little more comfortable in his skin. My son is now 17 and is absolutely hilarious and has opened up tenfold. He was soooo serious as a little kid - I felt like I was always reminding him to "lighten up... have a little fun" ....
He almost made me cry the other day when he recited some quote he had read .... to paraphrase..
"When I was young my mom always told me that to be happy was the most important thing in life. Then, when a teacher asked me what I wanted to be when I got older - I said happy. He said I didn't understand the question... I said he didn't understand life.

Julie - posted on 10/13/2010

114

36

5

What are you like most parent would give anything for a quiet 15 year old lol He is the thinker in the family is he shy? my feeling is your getting scared your nest is nearly empty and the fact your youngest is quiet is giving you a taste of times to come that I can appreciate I remember what I was like when my girls left home I hated it now my friends think I'm great as I'm always kidnapping their children lol

Wendy - posted on 10/13/2010

17

1

1

I have two daughters. My oldest is the chatter box. The younger one has always been quieter because her sister was always talking. I was hoping that when the older one wend off to college, that that would change, but sadly, it did not. So, I really have no advice, just know that you're not alone.

Susan - posted on 10/10/2010

19

105

1

I am sure you probably know this already but ask Open ended questions !!! not yes or no questions!

Kristin - posted on 10/08/2010

82

24

1

I found that the best way to get my teens to talk to me was to go and sit on my bed with a book. They'd be quite happy to interupt my me-time to talk to me LOL. What they didn't realise is that most of the time I was more than happy to listen to them. We'd chat about all sorts of things, sitting on Mum's bed seemed to allow them to open up more.

I recently found a game called The Art Of Conversation. It's a pack of cards, each card having 3 questions on it. Someone starts by choosing a card and asking one of the questions, then the next person answers the question, fully and in detail. After that, each person gets to comment on, or ask an additional question about their answer. The second person then answers the original question, and everyone gets to comment again, and it continues until everyone has had the chance to answer the original question and comment on everyone elses answers. Something like that could be good for getting all the family to open up and get to know each other better.
I've also had family meetings where everyone has a turn to say what they like about everyone and what habits they's like to see changed or at least moderated. Everyone could also admit to anything (such as the fact that my daughter had been smoking behind my back...and that I'd known for ages!) and there would be no recriminations later. Although they would be expected to repair or repay for damage etc. It worked well, and I finished it off by giving everyone a sheet of paper, they put their name on it and passed it to the right, then each person in turn wrote down something that they like about the person named on top and passed it along. But you couldn't repeat what someone else had already said, so each person got a list of several good things about themselve. That way we ended on a positive note. Good luck.

Fern - posted on 10/08/2010

111

10

9

Don't ask questions that can be answered with one word answers. You have to ask questions that require more thought and longer answers. It also helps to talk when you are in the car and have a no gadget rule for certain trips to give you a chance to talk. Also have family dinner night where he is required to be home and you all eat at the table with NO TV or other distractions. Its amazing what they will tell you over dinner when there aren't any other things taking their attention away from the family. Good luck!

Jennifer - posted on 10/08/2010

1

6

0

I am also a mother of three, youngest being fifteen my oldest is 21 and in The Navy....first thing I recommend is don't compare your children-they're all individual human beings with different traits, yes? :o)

There's also a book called "how to talk so kids will listen, how to listen so kids will talk" that has been very effective with my family and also in my profession with adults... What I found the most impactful is having my family and I participate in The Landmark Forum (www.landmarkeducation.com). Since participating my children and I have an unconstrained relationship that gives us the space to freely talk about anything, (and I mean anything!) without causing an argument or having them feel pressured to share-which is huge! They even text me to have conversation about their day now. I now have a relationship with my children, that I know everything about them and what's going on in their lives and what they're dealing with- you can have that too!

Check out the website and register. I promise your world will be fulfilled in ways you never dreamed of!

Many blessings,

Jena

Robyn - posted on 10/06/2010

1

20

1

If you know what he is interested in, talk to him about those things he enjoys doing. Look him in the eye when you talk to him. Tell him to invite his friends over and make some cookies or brownies for them..stick around and chat with all his friends and your son and just have fun...Also, give him some space if he wants space..but let him know you are (I have done this)praying for him every day.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms