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Experts tell how to talk to teenagers

Diana Divecha, PhD, a developmental psychologist at the Yale Centre for Emotional Intelligence states how to talk to your teenager

When kids are little, they want to be like their parents and very close to them. But puberty triggers a lot of changes in the brain, signalling that it’s time to work on becoming an individual, not dependent on the parents. You aren’t looking right at each other so it’s less intense. Take advantage of transitions. Teens are so busy these days, it’s hard to get one-on-one time with them. But when soccer season is over, or the school musical has just wrapped up, your child may have a short break in the frenzy of activity.

Laura Markham, PhD, a clinical psychologist and author of Peaceful Parent says.

Look for opportunities to fit in that protected time, just the two of you, where you can casually chat about whatever they’re thinking about. Manage your reactions. If you’re talking about a weighty topic, like drugs or sexting, overreacting is a sure-fire way to shut your teen down.