How to actively listen to your teen

"We need to talk." Those words make me nervous. I don't know whether it's the faint implication of censure, the possible portent of bad news or just the fear of the unknown, but I get edgy. Kids do, too. When it's said without any added details, the person can only conclude it must be something really dire. And frankly, approaching someone with an ominous opener like that will not engender healthy communication.  Kids shouldn't have to walk on eggshells wondering what they've done wrong now. If they've done something you disapprove of, say so. Don't be cagey. Don't play games. Don't turn it into a drama fest. The only thing you'll accomplish is to alienate your teen.  Be honest and open with your kids and they'll be more likely to return the favor. Here are other parenting tips on talking to teens so everyone feels comfortable. How to actively listen to your teen and talk with empathy 

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Freelance writer, Top 100 Yahoo! Voices, Yahoo! News, Shine, Michigan, Detroit), blogger, teacher, mom of 4, happily married 25 years. Graduated GVSU 1986, psychology/general education and special education. continuing ed up to present. Certified MI teacher. Writing Michigan history mystery, children's Gothic fantasy. Areas of expertise: education, relationships, mental health, nutrition, history, world cultures. Passions: faith, Catholic church, sustainable living, interfaith initiatives, living simply that others might simply live. Working on MA in EI education.