Thinking and Feeling

In order to spend quality time with your teenager, you must develop the art of listening. Let me share five ideas:

  1. Maintain eye contact when your teenager is talking.
  2. When your teen starts talking, drop everything else.  If you continue watching, reading, or doing something else, the teen wonders if you really want to hear what they have to say.
  3. Listen for feelings.  Understanding the teens emotions is fully as important as understanding their ideas.
  4. Observe body language.  Clenched fists, trembling hands, and tears, may give you clues as to what the teen is feeling.
  5. Refuse to interrupt. Keep the teen talking until you understand what he is thinking and feeling.