Talking to your teenage daughter can be like having a conversation with a wall. She can be unresponsive, elusive, and resentful at any attempt to try and find out about her life. It doesn't have to be like this. There are ways to get your daughter to open up and communicate with you, and while it may not be the easiest thing to do, it's definitely worth it.
Create a Safe and Non-Judgmental Environment
It is essential for teenage girls to feel like they're in a safe environment when they talk. This is the age where children begin to trust their peers more than they do adults. If you want quality communication, you'll have to create a relationship with your child where she feels safe to express herself. To do so, you'll have to fight the urge to judge.
It isn't always easy to listen to your children without offering input, especially when they may be making choices with which you don't agree. Teenagers need to know they can talk to you without fear of condemnation.
You know you're really listening to someone when you can hear what they have to say without thinking about what you're going to say. The first time one of my daughters and I used this tool to communicate it helped me realize that while we may have been hearing each other, we weren't actually listening. To this day, when we struggle to understand each other I know it's because we're not using this communication skill.
Schedule Time Together
While spontaneous conversations are best, sometimes it is necessary to schedule time together to talk. Whether it's with the whole family or one on one, your children need to know they're important enough for you to turn off phones and shut down computers so that you can spend time with them. Just make sure whatever you plan is fun and that it will allow you to focus your attention on your daughter.
Be Open about Yourself
Some parents are uncomfortable talking to their children about themselves, but it is important. Being open with your teenage daughter about who you are, the choices you've made, the mistakes you've made and the lessons you've learned will help her be able to talk with you about herself.
Don't Try To Be A Friend
Children will have lots of friends in their lives, but they only have one mom and dad.
When my daughters were little, I wanted nothing more than to be their best friend. I thought by being the coolest mom on the block, they would want to obey me and talk to me. After they became teenagers, I realized I couldn't be their friend and the parent. If I wanted to raise my children with values, I would have to remain firm in my boundaries and what I believed even when that meant being unpopular.
There will come a time when you can be friends with your daughter but not when she's a teenager. This is the time when she needs firm boundaries, clear values and strong parents to guide and lead her in the right direction, so she can grow up to be a successful and responsible adult.