1. Parenting

Video:How to Talk to Your Teenage Son

with Neil Chethik

Many teenage boys have a unique way of communicating, so resorting to a confined one-on-one discussion may not be the best way to go. Learn the most effective ways to talk to teenage sons.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Talk to Your Teenage Son

Hi, I am Neil Chethik for About.com Parenting. We all know how important it is to keep open the lines of communications with our kids, to keep them talking about school and friends and family life.

We also know how difficult that can be when the kid is a teenager, especially if he is male. Today, I am going to share with you some strategies for communicating with your teenage son. I am going to be joined in this video by my own son, Evan, who will soon be 14 years old. He will let you know – I am sure – if I happen to give you bad advice.

Give Your Son Space

First, the most popular method not to use when trying to talk with your son: face-to-face, in close quarters. Face to face and up close is intimidating for most kids, and your son will probably go immediately on the defensive. That is not a good start for an open conversation.

Talk With Your Son During Activities

The key to an open, two-way conversation is to create a situation in which both of you are relaxed, side-by-side, preferably doing something interesting.

For example, ask your son if he would like to shoot baskets. Then, while you are playing HORSE or practicing free throws or taking a breather between games, open a casual conversation.

Or invite him on a road trip, even if it is just down to the hardware store. Side by side in the car, you can start the dialogue.

Tips for Starting Conversation

Now once you have got him in this situation, how exactly do you start the conversation? I decided to ask Evan to help us with that.

Don't Play It Too Cool

Talking with my dad is all about being comfortable. It is best when we are doing something like shooting baskets or throwing the baseball. And do not try to be too cool. Leave that for me and my friends.

Staying Present in a Teenage Son's Life

Thanks for those insights, Evan. And remember: When it comes to your relationship with your teenager, it is not about the number of words and depth of conversation that you have with your teenaged son. It is your presence. Be present on his journey through adolescence, and you will help him more than anything to become a happy and healthy adult.

This is Neil Chethik for About.com Parenting. See you around.
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