“My daughter has suddenly stopped talking at home? Do you think there could be something wrong with her? Do teenagers stop talking and become quiet? Is this normal?”
I am frequently asked questions like these by parents of children who have just entered their teens
Parents of teens who consult with me want to know the answers to these questions because their teens silence scares them and makes them imagine the worst of things.
It is not uncommon for teens to quieten down in the initial years of adolescence. Even very talkative children can quieten down and begin to say very little.
Though this happens almost invariably with almost every teenager – it can cause parents to begin panicking.
Parents begin to panic because they think that the silence and the lack of communication on their teenager’s part means that their child has started doing something wrong and is keeping quiet because he is hiding something from them.
Their panic however is needless and their fear that their child is doing something wrong is usually not true.
Almost all teens quieten down. They quieten down because they are trying to come to terms with the immense changes that are happening in their bodies and minds. They don’t say much because they are struggling to discover who they are and what they really think
They are quiet because they don’t know what to say
When teens quieten down it is important for parents to remember not to panic
If you are the parent of a teen, give your teen the time he needs to put his thoughts into words
Give him time to find the courage to say what he thinks aloud
Be patient and available when your teen wants to talk
Understand that your child needs guidance through this very difficult phase
Do not feel hurt because he is not talking to you and just walk away. Stay connected
Be there to love your child like you always have and let him know that you will always be there for him.
That will help your teen emerge from his silence and start saying what he thinks aloud.