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Uncommunicative Teenager


Many days I feel like I am talking to a brick wall when communicating with my teen. And those are the good days when I actually get the chance to talk with her.  How do I break down this barrier?



This information is included in our Guide to Parenting Teens. Click here to see the rest of the guide.

When children reach their ​teen years, they start doing things that they never have done before. Teenagers pull away from their parents and get upset when their parents try to talk with them. They are no longer the sweet little children who hung on their parents’ every word. The good news is that this is normal. The only thing you can do is to keep trying. Persistence is key.

Talking with your children is very important. It is important to stay current on what they are doing and with whom they are doing it. You must be creative and find ways to stay involved, even if that means making a required designated family time each day. It can be an evening meal, a Wednesday game night, Sunday brunch or a Thursday movie night. Whatever works for you, make it mandatory for all family members. No excuses.

During these family nights, conversation will flow. Casually ask questions about your children’s day or what is going on in their lives. One child may be quieter than others. If this is the case, one-on-one activities may be necessary to get communication flowing. Make these events enjoyable, not pressured.

If you suspect that your child is hiding something from you, monitor his or her interactions with their peers. As a parent, you have every right to investigate. You are not invading their privacy. You are doing your job, which is to ensure their safety. Monitor texting on cell phones and their Facebook pages. Have access to their passwords. If they refuse, take the privilege away. Cell phones, e-mail and Facebook are not rights. If your children don’t have anything to hide, they should not refuse to show you.