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I have a friend who feels like her teen son never talks to her. She was wondering if this is typical of all teens.
If you have experienced this issue, did you do anything that helped to get your teen to open up to you regularly?
She said that she misses talking with her boy.
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I agree that finding something you can connect with as a parent of a teen is a first step. It would be interesting to know what your friend's teen is doing instead of connecting with his mother e.g. gaming, out with friends, reading etc.? It might be worth a shot for your friend to show some interest in what her son is interested in. Even if it is of no interest to your friend, it might be a great way to break the ice again if she asks her son to show her how to play the video game he likes or for her son to show her how to talk online with others or show her how to put a playlist of music together. This is not always the answer but might be a way to make a start at re-connecting again.
oh teens are tough!!! I have found that the times my sons talk with me is usually in the car when we are going somewhere. For some reason, they just seem to open up - possibly because its a non-threatening conversation with no eye contact. Long car rides have been the best for having check-in conversations with them but I know this wont necessarily work for all kids. I guess, finding ways to connect with them and share their interests might help them want to connect and open up more. Its wonderful that your friend is looking for ways to do this with her teens as it really is so important.
I am in the same situation as your friend. My son who is 13 often locks himself in his room to play video games or watch TV. He only goes out when he is being called, it's time to eat, or whenever needed. I did ask him if he has any problems but he will deny it and will just laugh at me saying I am just overthinking. According to him, he is just enjoying his time with his friends playing online games and that is just about it.
I guess there will come a time when teens, especially boys will distance themselves from their parents, especially their moms. My son used to be a very clingy boy when he was much younger but that changed eventually. What we do is we always encourage him to bond with us, we start conversations, and we limit the rules that would lead him not to open up like being grounded and having to stay in his room all day when he misbehaves like we used to.
You don't mention in the post how old her son is, but in my experience kids withdrawing to some degree during their teenage years is perfectly normal. It can be pretty heartbreaking when you have a close relationship and then suddenly it's like you have a stranger in your home. I know that many parents can feel confused and alienated by this life stage and it can be very hurtful.
During the teenage years, kids are trying to figure out who they are independently from their parents and part of this process can include withdrawing or becoming non-communicative. On the positive side, this is in 99.9% of cases just a phase and as teens mature and become more confident in their individual identity, they re-establish the relationship they have with their parents. As a parent, the best thing you can do is to continue to be there for your child. Let them know that you are there even if they do not want to talk and that when they are ready to talk, you are available to listen. Establish good habits like family dinner time where you might be able to chat without any pressure to do so.
I found that when I was too pushy or if my teen thought I was prying they were more likely to clam up and not confide in me. If I provided opportunities for interaction and conversation without any pressure, they were more likely to to open up.