Getting teens to open up

Cynthia Whitham, LCSW Parenting Author, shares advice for parents on the best methods to get your teenage child to open up and talk with you
How to Get Your Teenager to Talk to You
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Getting teens to open up

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Getting our children or our teens to talk to us is not easy and it is harder if we tend to be a chatty person. The person who is keep trying to probe and pull stuff from our kids. Our kids will clamp up in direct proportion to you trying to get stuff from them so think back to 6th grade science class what do you do, you create a vacuum your child gets in the car and you say "hey sweetie hope you had a nice day" try waiting. See what happens. Child might actually say something. As long as we are talking and we are pulling, it is probably not going to happen. When your child finally opens up a bit maybe says something that is important or tells you what is going on, don't respond with criticism or judgement. That is not the time to teach a lesson you might even hear stuff you are not quite sure you are not going to hear. So much better if you just listen, take it in, nod, try to understand. Try to hear it from your kid's point of view. If you do that you are much more likely to have your teen open up to you and when it is really important, they will.

Cynthia Whitham, LCSW Parenting Author, shares advice for parents on the best methods to get your teenage child to open up and talk with you

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Cynthia G. Whitham, LCSW

Director, UCLA Parenting & Children’s Friendship Program

Cynthia G. Whitham, LCSW, Director of the UCLA Parenting and Children’s Friendship Program, has been training parents for over 30 years. She is the author of two books, Win the Whining War & Other Skirmishes: A family peace plan, and The Answer is NO: Saying it & sticking to it, which have been translated into nine languages. In addition to her UCLA group classes, Ms. Whitham has a private practice on the east and west sides of Los Angeles. In 2000, she spent a month training clinicians at the National Institute of Mental Health of Japan. A lively speaker, Ms. Whitham does presentations and trainings for schools and organizations. Ms. Whitham raised two happy, healthy, and (relatively) well-behaved children (she thinks that may be the best credential of all). Daughter Miranda McLeod is a fiction author and is in a PhD program at Rutgers University. With sadness, Cynthia tells us that her son Kyle died in 2007, within months of graduating from San Francisco State University.

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