Ask Gwen: Teen Communication

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How do I get my teenage son to talk to me? He stays in his room a lot and I get a lot of one word answers.

Gwen’s Answer:

Teens do not always feel like talking to parents. It is normal for them to need their own space. Sometimes they feel parents ask too many questions. Try spending time together, even something simple by going together to get groceries.

You can also show interest in the things he is interested in.Remember too that teens are very sensitive. If you have been critical or judgmental in your comments to your teen they will definitely pull back.

It does not work to demand that they spend time or talk with you. A gentler approach works better. Sometimes we just have to give them their space.

It is more concerning if they are not communicating with anyone. If they have no friends and do not talk with siblings or relatives, they may be depressed. Talk with the school and see if things are going okay there.

Most often this is a stage and if we do not over react they eventually outgrow it.