It is not uncommon for teenagers to stop talking to their parents, as much as they used to when they were younger. This change in behaviour is normal as part of your teen’s adolescence development and progressing into a young adult. For teens, this transition can be difficult because they want the independence that goes along with being older, yet still want their parents to be there for them, when they need them.
Unfortunately, parents can make the situation worse if they do not take the time to evaluate the extent to which communication has changed. When you constantly lecture your teen, attempt to force them to talk to you, and punish them for not opening up, it only increases the amount of silence you will experience. It is best to take a moment and step back and remember when you were a teenager and how the dynamic between your parents changed, the things they did you disliked, and so on.
Now, use this and put yourself in the place of your teen to help you get a better understanding of how their life is changing. It is equally important to take into account how social situations have changed from when you were their age. Today, most teens are connected to several social media sites through their smartphones, tablets, gaming systems, and computers. In addition, they are being constantly judged and labeled by their peers based upon their actions.
When they are at home, they do not want to be judged and/or labeled by their parents. Rather, they want to feel safe and secure. As a result, it is vital to not use derogatory language in regards to their appearance, how they dress, and so on. Otherwise, they will feel like you, too, are being judgmental and could distance themselves further.
While in most situations, the decrease in communications is normal teenage behaviour, there are times when parents do need to be concerned. Not sharing their private thoughts and giving you one or two word answers, along with the occasional sigh or eye roll, are considered normal developmental behaviours. However, if your teen has completely shut themselves off from everyone, stopped participating in their favourite activities, and has taken up refuge in their bedroom, you need to be concerned.
Take the time to review their social media sites and pages, but with some discretion. If you notice they are being teased or bullied online, then you need to take action. Let your teen know you are there for them. If they will not open up and communicate, then it is time to seek professional help from a qualified counselling center in Greater Toronto Area.
Therapy and counselling can help you bridge the gap between the decrease in communication with your teen, as well as give your teen someone to talk to outside of their family and friends. Call Bayridge Counselling Centre at 905-319-1488 now for further help.
For more information, visit us at any of our Counselling Centers in Burlington, Brampton, Hamilton, Grimsby, Mississauga, Muskoka, Oakville, St. Catharines and Kitchener/Waterloo.
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