What is the silence of teenagers about

It is difficult for many of them to tell parents even a couple of phrases. Why do teenagers refuse to communicate with us, what is the meaning of their silence? And most importantly – how and when we should break it?

A soft noise in the hallway, Olga looks out of the kitchen and sees how her eldest son, dropping the sneakers, is removed along the corridor. Greetings is useless: he has already left and will not hear. Click: the door to his room closed, loud music sounded because of it.

All this means that 15-year-old Anton returned from the school where he spent most of the day. Olga sighs: “And so every day. We play silence. Silent in Seattle. It is necessary: over a year it grew by 15 centimeters and lost 90% of the words that he once knew! If during the day we hear “Hello”, “Dinner soon?”And” Switch to football “, in the house a holiday”.

However, Olga was still lucky: some teenagers do not communicate with their parents for two to three weeks. The age psychologist Galina Burmenskaya often has to hear similar stories.

“Teenagers are loaded with their experiences, their own rapid growth, restructuring in the body. Focused on himself and his internal problems, the child moves away from parents. That is why a couple of questions about dinner, TV or computer is already a lot, especially if they guess the desire to calm their parents, inform them that everything is in order ”.

Why is this happening?

Starting from 12-13 years old, adolescents gradually move away from parents: they prefer communication with peers. Such a model of behavior arose relatively recently, as well as the very concept of “transitional age” – the time of transition (often difficult) from childhood to adult life.

“Of course, the conflict of generations has always existed,” says Galina Burmenskaya. -But life was still different, adolescents were required more joint efforts with their parents: they relied on economic affairs and in raising younger children ”. In the 1960-1970s, a separate teenage and youth culture arose with its main attribute, rock music.

“Music replaced the words: instead of relations with parents, young people began to build relations with their time primarily,” says sociologist Michelle Phiz. In addition, the load of household chores has become much easier thanks to the home technique, and therefore there is almost no real need to attract teenagers to the household side of life.

Mobile phone, TV, game consoles, a computer with an Internet in a teenager’s room “Expand a moat that separates children from parents,” says Galina Burmenskaya. – Adults inevitably lose their authority and significance, but peers with similar problems, questions and interests can understand and divide each other’s experiences “.

Conquer the right to personal space

The child’s reluctance in itself is not a reason to worry. The teenager’s isolation is the reverse side of the storm that rages inside him. It is difficult for him to call the words everything new that is happening to him.

“The body is changing, the perception of what is happening, past glances are criticized, finally, he first falls in love … Sometimes the child is so focused on the problem that he is simply not ready to discuss it. Or maybe he is embarrassed or afraid that he is trampling with regard to one of him, ”explains Galina Burmenskaya.

To grow, build himself, a teenager needs a screen that separates him from his parents. It cannot be solved behind her, and then his “I”, inaccessible to other people’s opinions, will be able to ripen, relying on his own experience, his own decisions and errors.

“Parents want a teenager to be transparent to them, certainly obeyed them. They do not just talk to him, but try to influence, achieve, criticize. And they are surprised that communication does not develop, ”says Galina Burmenskaya. – When adults explain in a fit of their own correctness, “how to correctly” and “as it should,” they cause fierce resistance of the teenager, because they deprive him of his life, the sensation of the self.

At this age, he begins to try a lot, experiences a lot of inconvenience, delight and uncertainty … But this “flight” is interrupted when mom and dad begin to “teach to live”. It turns out that silence in most cases is just a way of coexistence, preserving oneself and relations with others. “.

There is no need to try to delve into the collections of the teenager all the time, to get information from him at any cost

Speech is an area where an adult is always stronger: the child adopts the tongue from parents, learns to speak with them in dialogue, wants to separate from them, using the words accepted in his circle. But we want to keep contact with our younger son or daughter. How best to build communication?

“There is no need to try to delve into the collections of the teenager all the time, to get information from him at any cost. Try to share your experiences, ask for advice, tell me how you came to some decision. Among other things, you will show what words you can say about feelings and experiences, and also convince him that you are interested in that you value and respect his advice, ”says Galina Burmenskaya.

By the way, Anton, the son of Olga, does not at all consider himself a silent “is not true that I am not talking to my mother, I just don’t want to tell her about everything. I also don’t like it when our conversation suddenly becomes like an interrogation, and even with accusations. What remains for me? Just be silent – it’s easier to avoid showdowns. But I communicate very well with friends and even with their parents. “.

This is quite natural: an “outsider” an adult does not accept his actions (appearance, judgments) close to heart, he is more restrained, delicate, does not condemn and does not require frankness … that is, he does not do what our children do not like so much.

When it’s time to worry?

“It is important to maintain good relations with the friends of the son or daughter,” Galina Burmenskaya is sure. -If there is a reason for concern, you can ask one of them what is happening to him (with her) … ”The situation is much more alarming when the teenager ceases to communicate even with friends, rejects what he loved before ..

If this is delayed, the help of a psychologist may be needed. How to say about this to a teenager? So, in order not to hurt him: invite the child to go to him on his own (“You are already an adult and you can do it yourself”) or sign up for a consultation together, telling him that your mutual alienation worries you. In addition, adults also have something to learn: for example, the skills of active hearing.

“They are indispensable for everyday successful communication. Actively listening to “return” to the interlocutor what he told you, calling his feeling, ”says psychologist Julia Hippenreiter in the book“ Communicate with the child. How?”. “You are upset and angry”, “You don’t like going to school”, “You do not want to be friends with those who offend you”. By indicating that you hear it and do not leave it alone with your own experiences, you give him the opportunity to speak out and find his own solution to a difficult situation “.

Steal together

Let the silence of adolescents are

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quite natural, but how to be parents? What will help us keep in touch with those who slip away from us in silence? You should not look for verbal communication at any cost, sometimes there are enough joint classes: “I see you don’t want to say now-let’s just drink coffee (we go to the cinema, prepare something for dinner)” ”.

The ability to talk to each other is not just the ability to pronounce words. This is the ability to organize a family life in a special way: trustingly, openly, friendly. After all, in such a family they not only tell, but also listen.