Dear Ilana and Jess: This might seem like a silly question, but how do I make conversation with my daughter? She’s 16 and it’s getting harder and harder to connect with her. What can I say to pique her interest? - Bob
Dear Bob: Many parents – and parents of teens in particular - have asked us how they can have better conversations with their kids. For more on this topic, you may want to check out our book: Say This, Not That to Your Teenage Daughter (https://publishing.andrewsmcmeel.com/books/detail?sku=9781449488055). In the meantime, here are a few strategies you can use to get the conversation flowing.
Pick your moment. The car ride to school or camp may seem like a great, uninterrupted window, but think about all the factors at play. If your daughter is still waking up in the morning, or exhausted in the afternoon after a long day, it’s probably not the best time for idle chitchat. If you’re looking to connect, aim for times when your daughter’s not tired or preoccupied.
Strive for moments of genuine connection, no matter how brief. Creating them can be as simple as playing a song you both like, mentioning a movie you’ve both watched, or even something you used to do together when she was younger. As Dad and Daughter, there’s a wealth of happy memories you can pull from. The simple question: “Do you remember when…?” can be very powerful for forging connection.
Show interest in her life. Your daughter may not want to talk about current events in the world-at-large, but she may feel differently about current events in her life. Keep conversation direct and specific to topics your daughter wants to speak about; this will help her open up. For example, ask your daughter what she’s most looking forward to next weekend, or what she thinks about her summer reading book.
Finally, don’t forget to share with your own thoughts, ideas, opinions, etc. We have to meet the expectations we set for our children; that includes social expectations, like good conversation.
Say This: “What’s the most interesting thing about your summer reading book? Would you recommend it?”
Not That: “We don’t talk like we used to.”
Say This, Not That is based on the work of Cognition Builders: a global, educational company headed by Ilana Kukoff (Founder & CEO) and Jessica Yuppa Huddy (Chief Learning Officer). Everywhere from New York City to California to Shanghai to Zurich, the Cognition Builders team is called upon by A-list entertainers, politicians, CEOs, and CFOs to resolve the conflicts that upend everyday life. When their work is done, the families they serve are stronger than ever. With their new book, Say This, Not That To Your Teenage Daughter Kukoff and Yuppa Huddy have selected the most common conversational mistakes parents make, and fixed them. For more information, please visit: https://cognitionbuilders.com. To purchase Say This, Not That To Your Teenage Daughter visit: http://publishing.andrewsmcmeel.com/books/detail?sku=9781449488055.
DISTRIBUTED BY ANDREWS MCMEEL SYNDICATION