Raising teenagers is very much the same as raising toddlers.
It’s basically all about 2 things: Expectations and Communication.
We expected certain things of the boys when they were younger, and they came to know what those expectations were and what the consequence would be if they didn’t do them!
It doesn’t take long for them to figure it out!
We expected obedience. It was always built around a relationship we were building with them, and of course there were times when we had to give grace in situations, but they knew what our expectations were.
It’s hard for your kids to live up to your expectations if you have never set expectations in the first place!
This is obviously vital in any relationship, but open communication has to be started when your kids are young.
Your kids do not just wake up as non-communacative teenagers one morning!
They grow into being a teenager.
Expressing that you have expectations of open communication when they are little, makes it a lot easier to continue the open communication when they are older.
So the simple answer to the question “How do I get my teenager to talk to me?”
There are expectations still even though my boys are older now.
There are going to be times when they want to be alone. When they need some time to think, and not talk. But even in those times, they are expected to respectfully request it.
There’s a huge difference between your teen responding to your question by yelling
“Leave me alone, mom!” and “Mom, I really can’t talk right now.”
And communication has to go both ways. I can’t expect my boys to show self control in their responses when I am getting frustrated by an attitude and yelling at them to go to their rooms!
I am still learning how to parent as we go through new things. Just this week I was telling AJ that I wanted to make sure he is always telling me things that are getting to him.
I want to know if what I’m doing is annoying.
I want to know if what I am saying is too much, because I am always wanting to grow and be a better mom.
I told him that I’m just going to check his text messages if I feel like I want to.
I am not sneaking behind his back to do it, and I am rarely ever seeing his texts, but I just want him to know that I think it’s ok if I do.
And I also told him to tell me if he thinks that’s unreasonable.
See, parenting is not about trying to show your kids that you have all the answers.
It’s about showing your kids that you don’t have all the answers, that you’re just doing the best you can AND that you are willing and open to change.
See you think you can go easy when they are just a little kid, right?
But what you don’t realize is that by you expecting obedience, communicating what you expect and teaching self-control early, this makes your life much more peaceful and enjoyable when your kids are older.
So moms of young kids, I know it’s tempting to just overlook the whining, or get frustrated with the disobedience.
But stay strong now. It pays off later.