Communicating with Teenagers

Here is a brilliant, ingenious, idea! Dealing with a teenage daughter that doesn’t really want to talk to you, has trouble opening up, you want to communicate more and strengthen the mother/daughter or father/daughter relationship , or maybe it seems that your talks always turn into arguments?
Pocketed pillowcases:
Make a pillowcase that has a large pocket on the back. Tell your daughter to write her thoughts or feelings down, randomly, or when there is ever anything she doesn’t want to say a loud and leave it in the pocket. Check the pocket often, reading what she wrote and write back to her.
Dear Daughter Diary:
In addition to quick notes, you could start an on-going between me-and-you journal. This would be a journal where you, the parent, would write a letter to your daughter and slip it into her pocketed pillowcase. She would then respond back to you writing in the journal and leave in in your pocketed pillowcase.
The pocketed pillowcase is nice because you will know when the notebook or letters have been delivered for reading. Everyone has a safe place to “speak.” This sort of communication helps because it gives everyone some time to really think “well” as writing something down gives you more time to think about what you really want to say. This trick will really help the communication, especially during the teenage years. Of course writing out some question prompts to your daughter could also be helpful. Here are some ideas:
* What is the nicest thing someone did for you today? What about you for someone else?
* In the past few days, what is something that made you happy? sad?
* If you could change one rule in the house, what would it be and why?
* What made you happy today? smile today?
* Where do you think you would like to live one-day and why?

Our children are not close to being teenagers yet. However, I like to think ahead…. Do you have any tips to share for communicating with teenagers? What about boys vs girls?

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