'Talk To Me First' - Getting Teens To Open Up To You - Vigyaa

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'Talk To Me First' - Getting Teens To Open Up To You

I’ve been enjoying the fantastic weather and juggling writing with being a Butlin’s Redcoat for my own kids on holiday from school, and it got me thinking about the way I communicate with my kids.

Communication can dry up during adolescence which is why people identify so much with Harry Enfield’s Kevin and Perry characters and that’s why the teenage stage has often been called the “grunt stage” but communication is a two-way process. It’s what we want and think, and what our teenagers want and think. Most of us are great at talking but less good at listening and understanding and we often only half listen to our kids.

Here are some classic ways to switch off your teenager:

Asking too many questions

“Why did you say that?” “What did you say?”

Being bossy

“Do your homework right now and don’t argue”


“You should know better at your age”


“How could you be so stupid?”


“I’m so sorry for you, you poor thing”

Rescuing – doing it for them

“Alright, I’ll do your homework for you so you don’t get into trouble”

Jumping to conclusions

“Late again! I suppose you’ve been up to no good getting back at this hour!”

Threatening and shouting

“If you don’t shape up you’re grounded for a week”

Always knowing best

“I told you that would happen, didn’t I!”

Most of us find ourselves lecturing, ordering and jumping to conclusions or even threatening our teenagers but if we always presume the worst and speak to our kids like this we block communication.

And, effective communication is the oil that lubricates a good family and builds a lasting relationship between teenagers and their parents.

Here are some Positive Parent Tips for good communication:

  • Remain silent most of the time!
  • Be aware and sensitive to your child’s body language, e.g. whether they look disappointed, worried, angry, excited, pleased etc…..
  • Show you are really listening by saying “I see, uh-huh and mmm” occasionally, and looking into their eyes without just staring to maintain good eye contact
  • Reflect back the gist of what they have said to you to check you have understood them clearly
  • Avoid giving advice or offering suggestions (Tough, I know, but believe me this one REALLY works)
  • Show your teenager by the tone of your voice and body language that you really respect and care and are genuinely trying to understand where they are coming from.

It’s worth remembering that most teenagers don’t like face to face chats. So it’s easier if you are doing something else at the time like emptying the dishwasher, driving them to a football practise or peeling the potatoes.

Often they like to talk when you’ve just settled down with a cup of coffee to watch your favourite TV programme or just climbed into bed exhausted or just run a lovely hot bath, but these can be the “Golden Moments” – the deep and meaningful chats – the ones that connect you to your kids and help bridge the gap of empathy.

So, go with the flow and keep remembering the bigger picture to your parenting – bringing up the happy, confident, well-balanced teenager; tomorrow’s adult – tomorrow’s parent.

Learn, laugh and enjoy the adventure!

Author Bio:

Sue Atkins is an internationally recognised Parenting Expert, Broadcaster, Speaker and Author of the Amazon best-selling books “Parenting Made Easy – How to Raise Happy Children” & “Raising Happy Children for Dummies" one in the famous black and yellow series as well as author of the highly acclaimed Parenting Made Easy CDs & MP3s.

Sue offers practical guidance for bringing up happy, confident, resilient children from toddler to teen.

She specialises in supporting families through divorce & has created a series of Divorce Cards to help start the difficult conversations about the changes that families face when they are going through divorce. These simple cards help children and parents explore, express and prepare for the changes and challenges ahead.

She regularly appears on the award winning flagship ITV show “This Morning” and Sky News and is the parenting expert for many BBC Radio Stations throughout the UK including talkRADIO where she does a regular weekly parenting round up of stories in the news on The Eamonn Holmes Drive Time Show. Her parenting articles are published all over the world.

To receive her free eBooks, eCourses, Webinars & weekly podcasts bursting with practical tips and helpful advice from toddler to teen log on to www.theSueAtkins.com and join her Parenting Club today.

An internationally recognised Parenting Expert, Broadcaster, Speaker and Author of the Amazon best-selling books.

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Last week, Barry and I found ourselves at 10 pm sitting at a special reserved table at “The Stud,” the 50-year-old first gay bar in San Francisco. First of all, there are a few things you should know about us. We are quiet country people who like to go to bed early. We never drive the ninety minutes to San Francisco unless it is to go to the airport for work travel. For the most part we do not drink alcohol or listen to loud music. Our idea of a good time is rafting a wilderness river and camping all by ourselves in a beautiful spot along the river with our two golden retriever dogs. We were double the age of everyone else at the bar. The sign on our lovingly placed table in front of the stage said, “Reserved for Johnny’s parents.”

Our son is gay, and he and his partner Isaiah were going to give their first solo two-hour performance. Our son describes himself as a professional circus performer. He also sings and dances and makes all of the costumes for the performances. He is very talented. A few of his acts would make any parent blush. And yet we sat and we loved and supported him, for he is doing what he loves in this life. The place was packed with young people, some his high school friends and everyone loved the show. The MC, WonderDave, liked us and kept drawing attention to Johnny’s parents and had us stand for a loud cheer.

At the very end of the show, our son took the mic and told everyone how much he loves his parents and how much it means to him that we came such a long way to support him. He asked us to say something so Barry took the mic and told everyone that we are very proud of our son. Everyone cheered! As people were standing to leave, a nicely dressed woman in her late twenties approached us with her female partner. She was crying as she said to us, “Could I please have a hug so I can experience what it might be like to have parents who are proud of me. My parents rejected me when I came out as a lesbian.” We gave her a big long hug and told her how proud we were of her. We hugged her partner too who told us that her parents had rejected her as well.

When we had walked into the bar, the co-owner told us how happy she was that we were there, as we were the first parents to come to their child’s show. She further told us that her parents called her the “black sheep of the family” when she came out as gay years ago. To this day, even though she is very successful, they will not have much to do with her. We reached out to hug her and tell her we are proud of her and she started to cry, so much was she needing that parental love. She later wrote a Facebook post saying how much it meant to her that we were there and had given her loving parental energy.

The LGBTQ community needs our love and support. Their parents have rejected many of them. And it’s shocking to see how our current presidential administration is treating them. These people are beautiful unique human beings, many with awesome talents and gifts to give the world. We are all different in some ways, and they just happen to be different in their sexual orientation.

I believe it is important for every parent to keep in their heart the possibility that their child might one day “come out” to them. Barry and I were totally surprised when our son came out to us when he was nineteen. We had no idea. He was an amazing athlete and played middle blocker, his 6’5” height a great advantage on the school’s championship volleyball team. All during the year he played volleyball, was a river guide and swam in our cold ocean for hours. More significantly, he had several steady girlfriends. He came out to us the day his girlfriend of one year had just left to go back home. It was a 100% surprise when he looked at me and said, “Mama, I’m gay.” Fortunately for me I did the right thing. I reached out and hugged him and told him I loved him. Then I had him go and get Barry, and he was shaking as he told his father. So many young men are rejected by their fathers. Barry reacted exactly as I had and then we both held him and let him speak. My strong advice to parents of all ages is to try to be prepared and react with love, for how you react in that one instance may determine your relationship from then on. If you did not react well, you can apologize to your child and begin anew.

One young man who was a very religious Baptist told us that his father rejected him right away and he could never be close to him again. And even worse, his minister rejected him and told him he needed to get counseling to change or else leave the church. It took years for this man to heal from both of those experiences. He never saw his father again and never walked back into a church.

Parents who reject their “different” child are really missing out. Our son has brought so much growth to our hearts, and so much understanding of differences. If we had rejected him nine years ago when he came out to us, we would have missed a whole new world. He would have still carried on with his life, his marriage, and his preforming. But we would not have been a part of it all. We left the gay bar at midnight with a skip to our step. The performance had been fun, but even more meaningful and joyful was loving and supporting our son.

Buying furniture for the baby can be an exciting time for most of us. The main reason behind it is that we often give both comfort and love in many ways. That's why baby cots have been in trend for more than a decade now. A baby's first two years is rather spent sleeping than crawling around the room. This is why baby cots play a vital role in nourishing the child with love and comfort. It probably is the safest place for the next few months. It is, therefore, mandatory for the parents to look for the best available crib out there.

This article will provide you with information about all the aspects we need to focus on while purchasing a crib.


Keep an eye for stylish cots

Style is the primary thing focused by the parents at an affordable rate after comfort and safety. Many elegant cribs are available just for small babies including mod cot, Nifty clear, Nifty Timber, Hudson cot, pod coy, and much more. You can even choose a particular theme as the primary style for the cot. It might include color and physical formation of a specific product. It should add to the comfort and style aspect for the babies. However, it highly depends on the choice of our respective babies.

Choosing the best design

The primary respect to focus on after the theme improves the design information of the particular crib. We wouldn't want our babies to suffer uncomfortable pain and mattress issues, would we? The mattress should have an adjustable height that can allow us to make the cot more mobile for the babies. This is the primary measure that is explicitly taken to prevent small kids from climbing out of the crab now and then. The design usually includes the appropriate size and color of the particular crib. We would also choose the strongest and secure option so that we can keep our children safe and sound. In short, we should focus more on durability than anything else for the kids. Moreover, many mothers have back problems that make it harder to lift the baby with ease. The baby cots with drop downsize can be an innovative option that often has sliding sides, freeing the bed of any side objects.

Important checklist concerning safety

Safety is the primary thing that should be focused more on by mothers. If the child does not feel safe and unintentionally hurt himself or herself, the particular crib would certainly not be beneficial. The mental checklist options include a thorough examination of the current condition for purchasing it. In the case of an online purchase, we can always go for high-quality cots instead of used ones. Other than that, slat spacing should also be examined along with corner posts. We might have to make sure to avoid crib bumpers and sleep wedges. The last thing to examine is the condition of antacid hardware of the cot.

Things to consider before purchasing

Many parents do not have proper space for a full-size crib at home. Thus, space-saving cots are essential for the kids today. Stability is another factor that is important for kid's comfort. We might have to make sure that the furniture doesn’t rattle after being shacked a little. Frame size is also critical since it saves the baby from immediate danger. The frame too short can make things difficult for us.


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