approachability for conversations


While parents may assume a teen would rather share their struggles and worries with their peers, teens express wanting their parents to be the ones listening.

When parents create an environment at home that allows for expression of feelings and discussion of difficult topics teens know they have a safe landing place. The best thing parents can do to enable an open atmosphere at home is simple…just listen. Putting distractions down (including phones) and giving undivided attention to your teen shows them you are interested in hearing what they have to say. Focusing on listening rather than problem solving shows your teen you aren’t there to tell them what to do but ready to hear them out. Think of listening 70 percent of the time and empathizing and validating the other 30 percent.

Parents’ approachability is a necessity in today’s climate. Teens are faced with daily challenges and pressures. When parents just listen and refrain from dishing out advice, teens will view you as more approachable.