For moms, it can seem like one minute we’re navigating the ceaseless class 5 rapids of tiny person talk like, “Mama! Watch me! Hold me! Carry me!,” and, “Mommy, why is the sky blue… where do babies come from… why didn’t the Tooth Fairy come last night… why are you and Daddy wrestling?”
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For years on end we’re barraged with constant, rapid-fire monologue from our littles:
‘Pleeeeeeeease! Can I, huh, can I? How come? Why not? Just one more ti
me! Sally gets to! You’re mean!
I spilled. I can’t find my shoe. I’m not tired. Gross, I’m not eating that. Tommy won’t share. I can’t sleep.
I didn’t do it. This tag itches. I don’t want to take a bath. I lost my library book.
Oh, hey, I have a science project due tomorrow. I want a sleepover. Can I have some money? I need a ride.’
But also, a frequent enough, ‘I love you.’
Then seemingly, the next minute its crickets, a ghost town, a deserted island; flat out pervasive conversation drought. And it’s surprisingly challenging to roll with this reversal of fortunes.
Especially right when the chats would be morphing into the kind we actually want to have. Just when our kids become old enough to talk to us about the good stuff; the skinny, the dirt, what makes them tick, who hurt their heart, why they’re anxious, what they stand for, what they’re striving for, who they look up to, who let them down.
We want to hear about who’s got their back, who trips them up, what they love to listen to and watch, what moves them, what makes them laugh, what feels like a roadblock, what dreams they’re dreaming, the plans they’re making, the things that fan their flames, or the challenges they’re facing.
Us parents, we were built for these topics and we really care about them. We earned these kinds of talks with our kids by enduring endless rounds of mindless banter and countless hours by now of rambling drivel.
We’re ready for an upgrade, some primetime – the big show.
We’re able to listen, absorb and respond to these real-world, nearly adult-size issues that actually interest us like it’s our dang job. Because it is! Only it’s not. Not in our teen’s eyes. And they are STILL the boss of us, even though we don’t want this to be true.
Be assured though, your teen will most definitely talk to you again. Someday. If you can’t sit tight and wait it out, you may just need some new tricks to tease their words back out of them.
Here are some real mom tips on how to ensure your kid (who never used to shut up) will talk to you again sooner rather than later.
20 Ways To Get Your Teen To Talk
- Start a project. Any kind of project at all. But especially one that requires your total concentration.
- Make a phone call.
- Receive a phone call.
- Leave the room your kid is in.
- Sit down to read that book you’re dying to finish.
- Hide their phone. Oh, AND the XBox remote.
- Stand at the kitchen sink and turn the faucet on.
- Run out of cereal.
- Have a conversation with your other kid.
- Decide that if one more person tries to talk to you today, you’ll lose your mind for sure.
- Endeavor to think something difficult through all the way to its end.
- Turn on some of ‘your’ music. And turn it UP.
- Be in a hurry to leave the house with no time to talk.
- Change the wi-fi password.
- Buy the wrong kind of anything.
- Have a friend you’re longing to catch up with over for a glass of wine.
- Lay down to take one of the 1.6 naps you get each year.
- Get engrossed in a good movie you can’t miss any dialogue in or you’ll be lost.
- Speak in a hushed tone to your spouse about something you don’t want your kid to know about.
- Become bone tired and unable to keep your eyes open.
I can hereby affirm this list will not fail you. At least one of these surefire tactics will work to get your teen’s voice box back up and trickling. Your kid is not lost to you, you’ve got this! Regularly doing any of the above will encourage your teen to appear front and center and running at the mouth in a flash.
Now go on, get your kid gabbing again. You’ll be so glad you did. For about 13 minutes. Because we always want what we haven’t got, right up until we get it, don’t we?