My son does not speak to me

Communication with a teenager (in general) can be very challenging. At this stage in his life, he is going through a lot of changes: socially, emotionally and physically. At times it is extremely difficulty for male teens to talk to anyone (especially mom). Here are some strategies to help foster better communication with your young man:

1. (unless there is imminent danger) Speak to him and not at him. The second you raise your voice, he will stop listening.

2. Avoid speaking to him when you are emotional, you may say something that you will not be able to take back.

3. Praise and reward him for the things that he does (this way he will continue to do them). Be specific, in what you are praising, for example: Thank you for taking out the garbage tonight.

4. When he does something that is needs correcting, keep the reprimands short and use only facts. A study done by Microsoft, shows a teenager’s attention span is less than 12 seconds.

5. Keep giving him solid advice/direction (in short lengths). He may look as if he is not listening but he is.

6. Give him space: He will come to you when he is ready to talk and when he does…listen (try not to judge).

7. Avoid power struggles: At this stage in his life, rather than using the strategy: you do what I tell you or else, use a negotiation strategy where you give a little and he gives a little and you both meet in the middle.