After having raised a few teenagers, I have discovered something that works every time. If I make sure that I am sitting on the living room couch when they get home, they will come in through the door, sit down near me, and TALK!
I have experienced this “little miracle” again and again with my son who is always busy doing something and tends to speak only in short sentences. Recently, he came in after school and found me. Fortunately, I was aware he would be home soon, so I had positioned myself in “the best talking spot” in the house! He came in, flopped down on the chair next to me, and began to tell me about his day–without so much as a prompting or question from me to get him started. He told me of his feelings about what is happening in his classes, including which friends are doing what he knows is wrong. Daily school life was just spilling out of his mouth! It amazed me that a boy, who isn’t a big storyteller or talker, would open up to me about everything–even those things he knows we would not approve of as parents!
I love spending time getting to know my teens at any time of the night or day. The fun and the deep conversations are both heart-filling. Our relationships deepen when I am willing to drop what I am doing at the moment to let them tell me what is in their hearts and on their minds. It is great to know what a difference that makes.
I know that this sweet, talking time is one reason that my kids feel comfortable telling me when they are messing up in their lives and need help. Wow! That is why I am so grateful for the time we have together after school. I love my teenage kids!
QUESTION: What do you do to get your teens to talk?
CHALLENGE: Try out this method for getting your children, of any age, to talk to you. Be sure to tell them how much you like learning about their day.
Image by emmy! / Flickr.com
Originally published October 23, 2010