What to Do When You Know Your Teen is Hiding Something
Talk to your teen about anything except what he may be hiding. Yes, avoid the elephant in the room. Talk about cars, how bad the refrigerator stinks. Crack a joke about his bed head. For heaven’s sake, talk about the weather! Dialogue is dialogue, and if you are keeping the dialogue going, it can lead to more down the road when the heavy stuff comes.
2. Listen for Understanding
Lots of times parents will listen for their chance to talk about something, so they can impart great wisdom. Sometimes the best thing is to just listen. If you let your teen talk, there is a chance he will talk more. And if he talks more, there is a better chance that he will talk himself into his own solution for what he is going through without you even having to say a word.
3. Avoid Negative Reactions
If your teen does get brave enough to tell you what he is hiding, it is important not to jump to conclusions or react with anger. This is a hard thing when anger may be your natural reaction. Continue to listen for understanding, as you and your child work together toward a positive outcome.
4. Approach with Caution and Care
Perhaps you learn from a third party about things that your teen has been hiding from you, and you want to confront your child. Do not be afraid to do this because you have every right as a parent but do it with caution and care.
Maybe approach him with, “I’m worried about you because you seem a little off. Is there something you need to talk about?” He may not offer the information, and that is ok. Make sure to leave the conversation on a positive note by saying something like, “If there’s anything you feel like you need to talk about, I’ll always be here when you’re ready. I love you.”
Never force information, only offer support and love. If he feels supported and loved, there is a higher likelihood that he will eventually open. And when he does, you will be ready because a parent always knows.
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