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Effective communication with my teen
August 25, 2005
11:37 am
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Buddles
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I feel like my teen age son just shuts me out i.e., headphones or TV. The communication we do have is me telling to do or not do something & him disagreeing with me. Any thoughts on how to break this cycle?

August 25, 2005
10:23 pm
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mamacinnamon
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Buddles:

Sounds like my son. He used to lay there on the couch and cover his head just coz he knew it irritated stepdad and me. Totally tuned us out.

I don't know if effective or even proper, but I'd just pick up the remote and turn the tv off and say "time to talk let's go to the kitchen table or whereever. I still do that even now w/ my daughter.

He is hearing what you say whether he shows it or not. He is taking some of it is.

I don't know is it wrong to say. Let's talk and then you may have dinner. No talking; no dinner.

Mostly what works is prayer. Pray, Pray, Pray for him. And let him know you are doing so.

Teens are the hardest. You feel like you are beatin a dead horse, but they get thru the teen years and so do you. I've finished w/ 2 and have 1 to go. 🙂

Oh, one more thing. Don't let him see you lose your cool. Even if you are gonna explode don't do it in front of him.

August 27, 2005
10:36 am
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Buddles
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Thanks for the suggestions. I'll do what ever it takes. I know what you mean about don't let them see you lose your cool. It almost seems like that's his goal. Some times I feel like just shutting him out like what he's doing to me, but that's kinda hard when I have to drive him every where. WHat did you do about the music they listen to? That seems to be a real negative escape & rebellious outlet for him.

August 27, 2005
11:40 am
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mamacinnamon
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OH ROFL.... the music. I remember that. OMG We had such battles over the music. His dad, the exil X, bought him a bunch of parental discretion cds. Those we took away and broke. Totally unacceptible to us. But, his dad went out and bought him all the onse we broke again.

I think on the music thing. IF you can tolerate it... listen to it to see what he is listening to. That way you know if the lyrics are degrading women and you can address that, or if they are about suicide so you can address that subject as well, etc.

Funny for ya.... My son was ALWAYS trying to get me to break coz I refused to. That kid could badger me to the point I really wanted to duct tape his mouth and trhow him in the freezer for some future generation, but then social services would get involved. lol. Anyway, he pops in a cd and says "whatta think of that mom" I didn't show any emotion really.. I say "Oh, that's ozzie" and named the tune for him. He flipped around in the seat in the car and id like "how do you know". Told him I could jam w/ the best. lol. (I hate ozzie)

I learned from my dad. I could say or do anything to try to upset him and in EVERY situation he: #1 did not show any emotion, and #2 just matter of factly stated how we would take care of whatever subject I popped out that day. Example: I'm 17 come in plop up on the countertop and said "Dad what if I told you I was pregnant". He w/ no emotion said: #1 we'll put your mom in the mental hospital, #2 you will keep the baby and care for it and #3 it'll be my decision as to if you marry the bas**** that got you pregnant. He finished his glass of water and walked outta the house and went back to work. I'm sure now having teenagers of my own he probably got into the truck and curse all the way back to the office. lol

Anyway. find what works w/ you child. My son it was tough talk and stayin on top of what came next, and standing up to him. Be tough; but always end everything w/ "son, I love you". They don't miss those words.

August 31, 2005
2:42 am
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Anonymous
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Dear Buddles,

I have a 19 year-old son who now has a son of his own (age 5 months, and the mother of the baby, age 18, lives with us as well). And I have a daughter who is 16.

Communication is so hard. When I approach my kids wanting to have a heart-to-heart, they get up in arms thinking I'm trying to "trick" them into telling me something, or I'm being "nosey" or whatever. You probably know the drill. So if I stop asking them how their day was, they go off the deep end because I "don't even care" about them anymore! I guess most people would refer to this as being caught between a rock and a hard place but it feels more like being caught between a prickly pear cactus and a cat's claw bush--I live in the desert...

What your kids know, the most important thing, is that they have a mother who loves them very much.

I know it's impossible for you to relax, but if you could figure out a way to do so, he will pick up on it and relax as well. That might be a good way to "open" things up so that when the two of you are talking it feels a little less intense for him. You relax, bullshit a little bit, and before he knows what happened, the two of you are having a REAL conversation!

Love,

Ren'ai

September 1, 2005
11:51 am
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eve
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*Talking* is a fearful thing for teenagers - for boys even more than for girls, I think. Talking about personal or relationship problems is even worse 🙂

Do you have things that you do together? Not just household chores, I mean. We did a lot of gardening together with my father and grandparents when I was a teen (didn't have a mom at that age). And however bad our communication was, harvesting together and cooking the berries and vegetables together always was some common ground. For my sister and her teenage son it is sports that they do together, family holidays usually go very well when a lot of cycling, walking, climbing is part of the holiday.

I think that teens have such a hard time with themselfs that they can't imagine that anybody else can understand them, so why talk?

Hang in there, he will grow out of it

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