Are you surprised by the changes you have seen in your child as they have become an adolescent? Their change in attitude is due largely to developmental changes that are happening inside their brain. They don’t just seem different, they are different.
Although it might be challenging to get your adolescent into a conversation with you, this is how you are going to be able to stay connected to them through this powerful time of transition. They know their thinking is changing and they will welcome the opportunity to hear that what is happening in their head is normal and that you understand.
It is best to be brief and non-threatening during your conversation. Find a comfortable time when you can bring up the topic in a casual way. Even if your adolescent does not say a word, your interest in what they are thinking and feeling will mean a lot to them.
This conversation starter is about a topic that affects every family.
Moving Toward Independence
Brain Change – Separation from Family
Background: Growing up, children typically look forward to spending time with their family. Most of their social experiences are with a family member. But as they mature into adolescence, they desire to be with friends more than with family. This is a normal part of maturing because soon they will live on their own and their brain is getting them, and their family, ready for that separation.
Casual conversation starter: I’ve noticed that you want a lot more time with friends than you did in the past. I know this is normal for kids your age. Let’s talk about a way to make it happen and still keep all of us close and a part of each other’s life.
Last week I talked about navigating relationships and how they can change as a child enters adolescence. It’s important to remember that the emotional hardiness your child may exhibit in their youth can soften as they enter their teen years.
Keep It Brief
Remember, these are probably going to be very brief talks. Sprinkle them into casual time with your adolescent over the next few months.