Transcript for What is your teenager trying to tell you

This is the transcript for the What is your teenager trying to tell you? Video.


You've probably heard other parents talking about how their teenagers don't talk

It's a common frustration for Mums and Dads. We just want to know what's in their head. What's bugging them, what we might be able to help with.

But sometimes it seems that the more questions we ask, the fewer answers we get

If this is something you're experiencing at home then I might just have the solution for you.

It's called active listening.

Now you probably think that listening is something that isn't particularly active

But it's amazing how many little things you can do when you're listening, that can make a huge difference to the conversation.

So let's start with the five non-verbal behaviours of active listening.

Eye contact, smiling, posture, mirroring and attention

Eye contact is important. Don't overdo it.

Just remember if there's a moment or two where you see eye to eye they'll know you're interested in what you have to say.

Smiling is good too. I'm not talking about big goofy grins just a little smile now and then to let them know that you're taking it on board.

Posture says a lot. If you're sitting back it looks like you're disengaged. But if you lean forward in your chair it says that you're part of the conversation and you want to know more. Even just leaning sideways, maybe resting your head on your hand is good. Whatever feels comfortable for you.

Without even thinking about it, you're probably already mirroring other people's expressions.

If they smile, you smile. If they frown, you do too. So you don't have to force it. Just be aware of it and let it happen naturally.

The last thing to think about is how much you're actually in the moment. Don't be distracted by the telly or your phone ringing. If you keep looking away you could make the conversation stop. You might even make them angry. So whatever you do, give them your undivided attention.

And once you've got these non-verbal behaviours on track you'll find that the conversation starts to flow a little bit better.

Don't feel that you have to jump in with a quick response.

Pause for a bit. Think about what they're saying.

Occasionally chip in with a question or maybe just summarise what's being said.

So that's it. Give it a try. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised how much better communication with your teenager will get.

Before long you'll both be walking away thinking I'm glad we had this little talk.


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