Parenting Teens with Dr. John Gray.
Why Isn’t My Teen Listening To Me?
Parents of teens everywhere, at some time, in their child’s life, will ask this classic question.
The answer is fairly simple but yet so complicated. It is the question that can offer frustration and requires evaluation.
Are they truly not listening or are they just not listening as well as they used to? Are they completely ignoring you or just simply trying to stretch their independent arms?
As our children get older they wish to be treated as adults and with that comes the expressing of their opinions. This is an act which we, as parents, often have seen as defiance.
The reality is that parents should be more concerned about kids that do not turn a deaf ear.
The reason for this is that children that seem to be turning a deaf ear are really just going through a “natural and necessary progression to adulthood.” As well, they usually seem to be turning a deaf ear but are actually listening on at least some level.
In Dr. Gray’s bestselling book, Children Are from Heaven: Positive Parenting Skills for Raising Cooperative, Confident, and Compassionate Children he points out that “Up until 13 years old, children do not have the capacity to form their own opinions, and they depend on their parents to decipher all information for them.”
Once they reach the important teen years they have a shift in thinking. This usually results in the shift from thinking that Mom and Dad know everything to realizing that Mom and Dad do not.
Now the teen will attempt to exercise their independence and will step towards maturity. If the child is being respectful, and safe than his behavior should be encouraged not discouraged.
This is the time for the parent to adjust to the teen’s new way of thinking and to remember not to be combative. Treat your teen as a person with valid thoughts and opinions. Engage your teen in conversation and offer insights but allow them to make decisions. Appreciate their logic and views even if you disagree.
If you allow your child a sense of independence then life does not have to be a battle, but rather a discussion. Do remember though to watch for their safety above all else. We, as parents, do sometimes have to pick our battles but it is important to pick carefully. If it is a small matter then treat it as such. If your teen has made a decision that you do not agree with but will not cause them harm then allow it to be.
Foster a strong relationship in which you and your teen speak of many topics. Enjoy each other’s company and rebellion may not be all that big of a deal.
I hope that you have enjoyed this piece from Dr. John Gray, the leading relationship expert in the world. His relationship and health books have sold over 50 million copies in 50 different languages. His groundbreaking book, Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, is the best-selling non-fiction book of all time.