“Is that why you’ve been so angry lately?” Often genuine curiosity like this from a parent is met with a scoff or an eye roll from their teen. We’re here to tell you why that is, and how to get around it.
It’s easy to worry about why your teen is acting a certain way, whether that be yelling, isolating in their room, never being home, or talking until wee hours of the night on FaceTime with their boyfriend, (literally doing nothing….it’s just on in the background).
When you notice behavior like this it’s hard to figure out the cause in order to stop it. Especially if your teen won’t open up.
What we know is that validating your teen in the moment is the best and most effective way to learn more about what your teen is thinking.
When you inquire with your teen about why they’re feeling a certain way, they may or may not tell you…
…either because they don’t know, or because the way you ask why is missing the mark for your teen in the moment they’re being emotionally vulnerable with you, so they clam up.
When you help your teen know that their emotions are normal and to be expected (don’t confuse emotions with behavior!) your teen automatically feels understood.
What happens when a teen feels understood? They share more.
If your teen is struggling with anxiety, depression, or is healing from a traumatic experience, it’s crucial that you know how to validate.
Telling your teen “it makes perfect sense that you feel like that… especially given what just happened” helps your teen know you GET IT.
You may not have all the answers, that’s what our support is for, but when you’re ready to listen and hear how your teen feels their feelings deeply, your teen is bound to share more often.
To learn more about what works to support your teen in managing big emotions and to open up, click the link below: