Life Saving Techniques To Keep Dialogue Alive

by LeAnna Benn - Date: 2010-06-14 - Word Count: 505 Share This!

Will my teen listen to me?

Parents are the most powerful influence and even preferred resource for teens. For years, parents were told that teens preferred the influence of friends as they pulled away from parents to achieve autonomy and established their own identity. Yes, they do establish their identity but it's based on their interpretation of you and the ideas you have planted.

Several polls and research projects confirm that teens want their parents to talk to them about _sex, risks, money, even friends. Their values are established by your influence. The thought processes that you share are the ones used by teens especially until their brains are capable of adult reasoning and rational thought. Even when you think your teen is being so grown up; he or she is merely acting on what they have learned from you and other responsible role models in their lives. You decide if you want to be a passive role model or pro-active role model.

Principles to follow?

These three principles will help you be a pro-active and more powerful role model for your teen.
Be intentional.
Share your thinking.
Develop a strategy to create on going dialogue.

Leave a Legacy (Action Steps)

1. Be Intentional--Think of how you can retain your teens respect even as they pull away. Being aware of what will not embarrass and what will equip your teen to be self sufficient. Your job is to successfully launch him into adult responsibilities.

Your day to day living is a model for their actions, life skills and reactions. He learns what it means to be a man from you and she learns how to be a woman from mom. Are you being the man that you want him to be? Are your habits the ones you want to pass on?-oh, whoa, there you go meddling. The language and even grammar you use will be mimicked in much the same way that your words were copied as he learned how to talk.

2. Share your thinking-- When you muse, "I am just thinking out loud about this problem" you are giving your teen the tools to think like you. The more you talk the more you teach; the more you transfer your mature thought processes to their immature brain. You are building neuro pathways in the brain to their developing prefrontal cortex, that adult rational portion of the brain. Your adult thought process equips your teen to think and act more adult without having to gain experience on the topic through trial and error. Keep talking; your teen is listening, even when he doesn't respond.

3. Develop a strategy to create ongoing dialogue. An intentional strategy for ongoing dialogue that worked in my home was to print off those articles from the computer, clip newspaper articles of interest and place them at the center of the dinner table. Encourage your teen to add their paper or topics to the pile and as you finish dinner, discuss the articles. Get your teen's opinion and give yours. An example of a conversation can be found at

Related Tags: parent teen relationships, preventing teenage pregnancy, contraception statistics, abstinence statistics

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