It’s important to not only understand why your teen is upset but to try and empathise with him. Try to put yourself in your child’s shoes and really understand the emotions he is experiencing.
It’s also important that you accept that for a large portion of the time, communication with your teen will be limited. This is a natural transitional phase which means that he is growing up. Despite this apparent need for him to distance himself from you, there are ways to encourage quality interaction with your teen.
Here’s what you do:
  • Be a good listener: Unless it is an absolute emergency, stop what you are doing and listen without judgement
  • Respect his privacy: If he sees that you respect his privacy and his need for a closed bedroom door, he may be more willing to share with you
  • Give her more autonomy: If she knows that you trust her judgement and appreciate her need for more independence she is more likely to trust you when real issues arise
  • Accept her feelings: As long as they are respectfully conveyed
  • Apologise when you are wrong.
Here’s what not to do:
  • Give lectures, lay guilt trips and nagging
  • Don’t reveal secrets she has shared with you to others. She may not risk telling you in confidence again
  • Refrain from asking questions such as, “Why are you ten minutes late getting home?” Instead say, “I noticed that you were 15 minutes late home yesterday evening.” There is only a subtle difference but you will meet with less resistance.