Adolescence is a time of great change and turmoil. Teens are trying to figure out who they are and where they fit in the world. They’re also dealing with a lot of new emotions, both positive and negative. During this time, it’s more important than ever for you to be there for your child. They need to feel like they can talk to you about anything, without fear of judgment.
“…You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak,
and slow to get angry.” James 1:19 (NLT)
One of the best ways to build trust with your teen is to listen to them without judgment. This means really listening, without interrupting or offering advice unless they ask for it. Just listen to what they have to say and try to understand their perspective.
It’s also important to remember that teens are still learning how to express their emotions in a healthy way. They may say things that you don’t agree with or that make you feel uncomfortable. But it’s important to stay calm and respectful, even when they’re being difficult.
If you can create a safe space where your teen feels comfortable talking to you, they’ll be more likely to come to you when they need help. And that’s the best way to help them navigate the challenges of adolescence.
Here are some tips for listening to your teen without judgment:
- Make eye contact and give your full attention. This shows that you’re interested in what they have to say.
- Don’t interrupt. Let them finish their thoughts before you respond.
- Avoid judging their words and actions. This will only make them feel like they can’t talk to you.
- Ask questions to clarify what they’re saying. This shows that you’re listening and that you care about what they have to say.
- Validate their feelings. Let them know that it’s okay to feel the way they’re feeling.
- Offer support. But don’t offer advice unless they ask for it.
Listening to your teen without judgment is one of the best things you can do for them. It shows that you care about them and that you’re there for them, no matter what. This will help you build a strong relationship with them that will last a lifetime.