Tips for communicating with teen sons

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Tips for communicating with teen sons

I so love to answer questions about teenage boys. The one that is really interesting is why is it that mother's often report that their teenage sons seem to want to talk to them and they are not doing a very good job. Part of that has to do with the wiring in their head. Their language centers are developing rapidly. They do have a lot of words. Their emotional center, is actually in hyper gear. The problem is the connection between the two. In an adolescent boy, the connection between the emotional center and the language centers aren't as well-developed as a girls. He can feel a lot. He can think a lot, but he doesn't put them all together. One of the mistakes that mother's make when they are talking to their sons is they ask them how they feel. Please don't ask them the F-word, feelings, with your son. Ask him what he thinks and he will talk to you more. Do something with him while they are doing something, like shoot hoops. Boys talk better when they are doing something, when you are not sitting and talking in their face, and when you don't use a feeling word. Then you'll get more.

View JoAnn Deak, PhD's video on Tips for communicating with teen sons...


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JoAnn Deak, PhD

Psychologist & Author

JoAnn Deak, PhD, has spent more than 30 years as an educator and psychologist, helping children develop into confident and competent adults. The latter half of that period has also focused on working with adults, parents and teachers in their roles as guides or ‘neurosculptors’ of children. On her website is a quote that best describes her perspective on her work: “every interaction a child has, during the course of a day, influences the adult that child will become.”

Parents and educators at schools from New York to Hawaii, as well as such organizations as the National Association of School Psychologists, the National Association of Independent Schools, the Association of International Schools, the American Montessori Society and the International Baccalaureate Association, have heralded Dr. Deak’s ability to demystify complex issues of child development, learning, identify formation and brain research.

Dr. Deak has been an advisor to Outward Bound, a past chair of the National Committee for Girls and Women in Independent Schools, on the advisory board for the Center on Research for Girls (Laurel School), for the Seattle Girls’ School, Bromley Brook School, the Red Oak School, Power Play and GOAL. She consults with organizations and schools across the United States. Most recently, she has worked internationally with schools, organizations, associations and parent groups in every continent (except Antarctica!) She has been awarded the Woman of Achievement Award by the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools, was given the first Female Educator of the Year Award by Orchard House School, and the Outstanding Partner for Girls Award from Clemson University. She has been named the Visiting Scholar in New Zealand, the Visiting Scholar for Montessori Children’s House and has been the Resident Scholar for the Gardner Carney Leadership Institute in Colorado Springs for the past five years.

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