Talking with your teen can feel like communicating with someone from outer space. It may seem like you can’t understand their thought processes or why they make certain decisions. The good news is that it’s not just you—there’s a good reason behind your struggle.
It’s biology. Your teen’s brain is a work in progress. While adults generally use the prefrontal cortex for decision making, teens rely more on the limbic system—the emotional portion of the brain. This is not a choice for them, it’s a biological stage of development. So what may seem like rash or emotional decision making to you is what their brain does naturally.
Teen brains rely more on passion and their decision making is naturally more reactive than adults. To adolescents, social rejection may feel life threatening. They feel a deep need to belong with their peers. Trying to develop an understanding of this as an adult is a wonderful first step toward connecting with your teen on a deeper level.
There are proven strategies you can use to connect with your teen. These tips will help you form a bond that creates a feeling of safety for them, allowing them to more openly share their concerns, questions, and life experiences. Consider the following if you don’t know where to start:
Connecting with your teen can seem difficult or downright impossible. By trying some of these strategies, you may help them feel more comfortable sharing things with you. And just as important, you may feel more comfortable in receiving their responses as well.
For more information on connecting with your teen or young adult, please check out our calendar for upcoming live, interactive workshops on this topic or visit our quick solutions library entitled Support, Inspire and Connect. As always, contact us at email@example.com with any questions or concerns.
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