How to Better Understand Your Teen

Reality to Teen?  Do you ever feel that your teen is from another planet? They speak a language you don’t know. They have interests that you’ve never heard of and just don’t understand. It’s a common phenomenon. Teenagers are weird.

That being said, they’re your teenagers and there are steps you can take to get closer to them, to better understand them.

#1 Ask Questions and Listen

The first step to understanding your teen is to ask questions. Now there’s a strategy here. Many teens give yes/no answers when you ask them a question. The trick is to do it when they’re more likely to open up. Driving in the car seems to be a good time, assuming they don’t have their iPod blasting music in their little ears.

When you ask questions, make sure to listen to the answers – even if you don’t understand half of the words they’re using. It’s okay to ask for clarification. As you’re listening, take mental notes. They’ll come in handy in the next step.

#2 Google It!

If you have no idea what your child is talking about, Google it. Google the things they express interest in, the people, and even the language they use. The Urban Dictionary can be incredibly useful. For example, “Feels” – A wave of emotions that sometimes cannot be adequately explained. “Watching Back to the Future gives me all sorts of nostalgic feels.”

#3 Eavesdrop

Seriously, one of the best ways to better understand your teen is to listen in on their conversations. True, most of their conversations are via text message so listening in on those conversations is impossible. However, you can snag their cell phone from time to time and scan through the text messages.

If that feels too invasive, try to be around them when they’re with their friends. Attend events with them. Volunteer to drive them and their friends to events. And encourage them to invite their friends over.

#4 Get Involved

Start taking an active interest in your teen’s interests. For example, if they’re involved in the local drama club then volunteer to help out with the club. If they are active online and have their own YouTube channel, then by all means watch that channel but also watch the other YouTubers that your child follows.

#5 Relax

Each generation has their own trends, language, and interests. Guaranteed, when you were a teenager your parents thought you were from another planet as well. It’s the way of the world. It’s okay to not be able to completely relate with your teenager. In fact, it’s normal.

Do what you can to connect with them. Let them know that you’re interested in their lives and then relax. You don’t need to be a friend with your teenager, nor do you need to share the same interests. It’s enough to let them know that you care.


Your Questions About Kids Reading Books

richmama answers:

I don’t mind 0bomber reading kids books
Everyone has to start someplace

Thomas asks…

What is name of childhood disorder where kids are obsessed with reading, books, words?

A friend has a child who demonstrates some autism like qualities but she is almost savant with letters, books and reading. I remember seeing a news magazine show with a story about others like that years ago. I want to say the name begins with alpha…

richmama answers:

Could it be hyperlexia? I just googled “reading savant” and this site came up . Hope it helps!

Richard asks…

Can anyone name the book series described in the details listed? It was reading books for kids in early 90s.?

When I was a child, working on reading comprehension, the school I attended in the south of Britain had a series of books that gradually got harder as you progressed. The series was colorfully illustrated and had featured blue men that were dressed in kilts and other Scottish garb. They lived in a valley and went about daily chores or adventures. As the series got to the end, some of the characters were captured by a beast that lived in a cave above the valley and were shackled to the cave walls. I think I got the details relitively close, but some stuff may be a tad off (it’s been 14 years since I’ve seen the books at least). Do you have any idea what the series is called? I’d really love to try and find copies or images from them.

richmama answers:

Most schools have their own website and contact addresses even emails, why not try and see if your school has a site and email them its a longshot but the member of admin who gets it may be helpful and be able to advise you. I used to work in a school and we often helped people out with all sorts of questions.

David asks…

i have old kids reading books, does anyone know what i can do with these?

is there an organization i can donate them to or sell them to???

richmama answers:

You can try selling them on ebay, amazon, etc. You could also bring them to a used book store, although they usually just give you store credit and they’re picky about what they take. The last option is to donate them to Goodwill or Salvation Army.

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