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Parents whose teenagers talk openly to them- any tips?

(29 Posts)
looseleaf Sun 12-May-13 21:01:40

The teenage years are years away still for us but I'm so conscious I had little relationship with my parents during them- I still wouldn't talk to them about anything important despite loving them v much but their parenting was fairly remote and I was sent away to school at 7 etc.

Am I being paranoid this will happen again with our DC? I long to always be there for them and to know they're ok without being overbearing. Dd is only 6 but when she tells me about friendship stuff at school etc I always make sure I have time to listen, ask her how she could deal with it etc. I've also told her really normally about periods so she's 'always known' rather than how awkward it was when my mother tried,

Does anyone have important things / ways you are as a family I can learn from? We're a bit rubbish at talking properly at mealtimes etc as rush, and if you're close when your children are young does that sometimes inexplicably change? I think it's very healthy for children to become independent and I'll always encourage them in their plans and give them space so it's more the teen years that i feel anxious about even now as i felt so muddled / depressed/ alone.
Or just reassure me please smile

Jimalfie Tue 14-May-13 09:23:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

amumthatcares Tue 14-May-13 13:01:30

My own experience has been that DD (now 18) and I have always had a pretty close relationship and she has always talked to me. Every day from the age she could speak I would ask her how her day was and what she had done (whilst I was at work). This established the 'talk' avenue. I also agree with a previous comment about always uniting with DH and then telling him he was a complete prick after when there was any disagreements. But as they get older they value their privacy more and more and are more selective about what they choose to talk to you about. DD is always telling me about a friend that didn't tell her parents this or another friend who lied to her parents about that and whilst I don't think she makes a habit of lying to me, I am also under no illusions that she doesn't tell me everything that goes on in her life. But she knows that if she wants to talk, she can and I'm happy to say, she does smile

mummytime Tue 14-May-13 13:17:24

My kids talk to me, they don't talk to DH as much.
It started early. I listen to them, they learnt early that even if I don't have time to listen at some point I will make time later. But on the whole I make time, and I listen even if it is boring drivel (eg. the details of minecraft etc.).
The car is a good place to talk. Making time for each child to talk to you. I even stay up quite often so I can switch out the lights, and have some time alone with the eldest.
Family meal times help, as sometimes things come out from one when talking to another.
Doing things together.
If one becomes isolated, then drawing them out for a shared activity: cooking, board games, shared computer games, walks (even if they whinge about coming), drives.

It is also good to talk about issues before they are likely to be relevant, shared TV watching can help with this, eg. teen pregnancy etc. Try not to be too judgemental.

But I think lots of talking from a young age, and a lot of interest in each others lives, leads to openness.

The other very key thing is to encourage them to have outside interests, and to interact with other adults you trust.

TheWoollybacksWife Tue 14-May-13 13:43:48

I have teen DDs. I echo all that previous posters have said.

We eat together as a family whenever possible.

I speak to my DDs when in the car taking them to dance class. They would often "save up" stuff to talk to me about - rather than squeeze in a quick talk at another time.

DD1 is away at Uni now but when she is home she stays up later with me and we chat about anything and everything.

There are things I wouldn't want to know about - I don't discuss my sex life with them so wouldn't expect them to tell me about theirs. Talking about what is good in a relationship is IMO different to knowing the intimate details. They are both open about health, body and image matters and I welcome their friends.

That said DD1 has blocked me on Twitter blush but given the amount of shite she can spout in 140 characters I should be relieved.

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