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How to talk to your teenager





Continuing the theme of children's mental health, as parents we want to help our children develop resilience and learn how to work things out for themselves.

 

With that thought in mind allow yourself to relax from thinking how you might ‘fix’ or ‘make things better’ for your child.  Learn to sit with your own discomfort of seeing your child being emotional.  They need to know it is OK to express themselves (safely). 


Help them identify their feelings An emotion wheel stuck on the fridge can be a useful prompt

https://www.calm.com/blog/the-feelings-wheel. (click on the wheel for a printable version)

o How are you feeling?

o   You appear distracted

o   I can hear you are angry

o   You seem quiet today

 

Always validate your child’s feelings and avoid dismissing them

o   Summarising

o   Repeating back a word or phrase

o   Short words of encouragement: ‘yes’ or ‘go on’


 Ask how you can support them

o   Do you need some space?

o   Would it help for us to talk?

o   Can I help distract you?

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