Speak no, see no, hear no evil.

By Rose Robinson on Flickr

By Rose Robinson on Flickr

The hear, see or speak no evil approach might be humorous, but not effective with pre-teens. Your role as a parent requires you to use as many senses as possible to pick up on the concerns of your child. Digital media has opened up new ways you can use to listen and learn about your child’s feelings and concerns.

Be an eParent®! Text a question rather than a critical message when you are concerned about your child.

Instead of texting: “So U didn’t get invited to Sarah’s party. Get over it.”

Try texting: “How R U feeling? I’m available to listen if U want 2 talk.”

Young teens can go from being happy and social to silent and moody in record time. It can be really tough to know if these changes are normal or are signs of concern. The best way to figure this out is to be vigilant listening to and communicating with your child. Sometimes this listening is what you actually hear; sometimes it is what you see and other times it is what you perceive – that parent instinct! Be open to your teen’s perspectives, interests, fears and ideas as they may be different than what you are totally comfortable with!

You may find this article on How to Get Your Teenager to Open Up to be helpful.

To learn more contact UW-Extension Family Living Programs or like Family Living on Facebook.

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