You listen to your teenager all the time. However, do you ever put your active listening skills to use while doing so? It is essential to tune into what adolescents are attempting to communicate. Listening to what someone is saying with your heart and mind is not the same as hearing them. If you have trouble communicating with your teen, experts at Foothills at Red Oak Recovery can help you decipher what might be troubling your loved one and how you can address the issue. To learn more about these practices, contact our team today at 866.300.5275.
1. Practice Attentiveness While Listening
Most teens complain that their parents never listen to them. Ironically, parents complain of the same thing about their children. Teens are observant. They know when you are listening and when you are not. Even when you can repeat every word they just said, teens can tell if you did not get the inner meaning.
For example, if you are always busy with your phone, teens will not tell you what is bothering them. If you feel that your adolescent has something to share with you, get rid of all distractions. Avoid attending to other children, your spouse, preparing a meal, or checking your phone. Actively listen to your teenager by stopping and focusing on them with undivided attention.
When teens withdraw from other family members, it is an indication that they are not getting the attention they deserve. If you want to create the right environment for active listening, put aside your phone, ask other people to leave the room, or take them to a private place. It makes them feel important and demonstrates that you are interested in whatever they want to say.
2. Listen Mindfully
Be in the present moment, and pay attention to what your teen is saying without judging. Understandably, parents find it hard to listen mindfully. Watching your kid learn life’s lessons the hard way is difficult. Parental instincts can tell you to intervene and offer guidance, especially when the adolescent grapples with repetitive and ongoing trauma.
To practice mindful listening, you need to restrain yourself from judging your teen’s past. Tune in to what the child is saying right now and do not concentrate on the future or past. The teens will need your parenting roles later on after you understand their experiences.
Mindful listening and communication can work wonders. If they are battling mental health issues, your open talk with teens can help solve such problems.
3. Active Listening Entails Showing Genuine Interest
The body language you show while listening to your teens may matter to them more than your responses. Shifting your weight around, answering your phone, or tapping your feet can negatively affect the talk. Such gestures visually tell the adolescents that your focus is not on them, and you are disinterested in the topic.
If the discussion topic is difficult, and you avoid eye contact, it makes teens feel uncomfortable. They may step back and not share whatever they intended to say. Actively listening means showing you are absorbing what your teen is saying, even when you do not say a word.
If your teen no longer tells you what is happening in their lives and you suspect they are grappling with a mental health condition, seek expert help. Rehabs can offer several treatment plans, including:
- Substance abuse treatment
- Disordered eating treatment
- Depression treatment
- Anxiety treatment
- Trauma treatment
Contact Foothills at Red Oak Recovery for Help With Teen Issues
Do not continue wondering what is wrong with your teen without practicing active listening or seeking rehab help. Mental health issues affect many adolescents in the US, so you should be ready to organize a professional intervention if it is challenging to handle on your own. Contact Foothills at Red Oak Recovery at 866.300.5275 to schedule an appointment with our therapist.