Now that both my children are teenagers, it’s more important than ever that I take time to really listen to them. I’ve read plenty of research reporting teenagers often feel their parents don’t listen to them but those same parents feel they are listening to their teens. Why is there such a discrepancy between what the teens and parents think?
Maybe it’s because there are a lot of ways for parents to unintentionally stop conversations with their kids. For example, if your child is telling you about being nervous for an upcoming test, these types of responses will probably leave your child feeling unheard:
- Analyzing: “I think you just like to focus on being worried about the test because that’s easier than actually studying for it.”
- Reassuring: “You’ve studied enough. I’m sure you’ll do great on the test.”
- Giving advice: “If you study an hour right before going to bed, you’ll probably remember more for the test tomorrow.”