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With all that is happening in the world right now, it is so important that we keep having conversations with our kids that allow us to check-in on their mental health. From what I observe, many teens withdraw into their online social spaces when the real world becomes unusually scary and unsafe. While it is good to know that they have a community online of supportive and caring friends, we also need to make sure that their emotional needs are being met in real life.
Do you check in with your teens daily? What kind of open ended questions do you ask to get them to open up? For me, the “car talk strategy” works for awkward conversations as we don’t have to make eye contact, but when I’m checking in on my kid’s state of mind I like to be having a face to face conversation and I’m a big fan of a nice long hug after tough conversations are had.
Share your techniques when it comes to teen communication.
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We always have talked in the car. Hopefully, by removing some of the distractions, this is a good opportunity to talk. However, I know that teens have their phones in the car too.
So my advice would be to make sure that you have family dinners nightly when possible and make it a phone-free zone. That goes for the parents too. Then just open up any dialogue you wish if your kids don't naturally talk during this time. Your kids will remember the family dinnertime and discussion and appreciate them.
Growing up in this day and time is certainly a challenge. I wish all of you the best!
I absolutely agree that the car-talk strategy is amazing for getting kids to open up. We also find this to work with our foster children as the lack of direct eye-contact makes for a less threatening or embarrassing conversation for them. I think the other thing that is really important here is the relationship. If you take an interest in your child's interests, be there when they need you and be honest and open yourself - they are more likely to want to share what's on their hearts and minds with you. There is definitely a lot for our teens to deal with in life at the moment so these opportunities for conversations are so important.