The modern teen is a curious creature. Erratic, extremely sensitive and increasingly mood-driven, you will often find them ensconced in a world of their own. Mesmerised by an assortment of electronic devices, absorbed in video games and thumbing messages back and forth endlessly, all the while listening to an unfamiliar rotation of songs on Spotify or iTunes Radio.
Communicating with your young pubescent is more vital than ever, but now fraught with complications. The tables have turned. Where once your child would pester you twenty-seven times a day with innocent questions, wondering who chose the colour of stop signs and how long it takes to drive to the moon, you are now pestering your child for answers, desperately, eagerly. How was school today? Who did you hang out with? What are you learning at the moment? But deep down you know that this style of straight-out questioning is no longer working. The sullen teen simply shrugs off each attempt with a raised eyebrow, a humph, an “uh-huh”. Or, worst of all: the dreaded GOOD. Everything is suddenly good.
Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Nissan Pathfinder. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words.
But all is not lost. The modern parent can still navigate within this new framework. It’s all about timing, and opportunity. When they are home from school and the desire to ask, “How was your day” is at its strongest, you must learn to resist. Smile. Kiss your young teen on the head and let them get on with their Instagramming. Feed them, sign all their school forms and don’t be offended by the closed bedroom door – allow them to enter their den of technology and friends and music, knowing you have other means of engagement.
You have the car. The chamber of conversation. Everything’s easier and smoother in the car. You can control the climate. You can subtly adjust the music level if your teen progresses beyond a “good” and forms actual sentences. You can view each other through the gentle buffer of the rear vision mirror, editing snarls down to mere eye-rolls. Things are instantly more civil and calm. And, as an added bonus, they can’t escape from you.