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How to Get Your Tween to Listen in 57 Easy* Steps

Image source: Thinkstock
Image source: Thinkstock

If you thought being a tween was hard, you should try parenting one.

At an age when friends rule and parents drool, being heard can prove challenging. But there’s good news, moms and dads! Deep, meaningful conversation with your tween can be yours in just 57 easy-to-follow steps:

  1. Tell your tween you need to talk to them.
  2. Repeat yourself.
  3. Take the earbuds out of your tween’s ears.
  4. Repeat yourself.
  5. Wait for your tween’s eyes to roll forward from the back of their head.
  6. Ignore heavy sigh.
  7. Assure your tween this won’t last long.
  8. Attempt to answer how long it will take, but make no promises.
  9. Ask your tween to put their phone down.
  10. Attempt to ignore tween’s constant text chimes and push notifications.
  11. Ask your tween to turn their phone off.
  12. Wait patiently as your tween checks all texts, updates, emails, and social platforms before actually turning their phone off.
  13. Feel frustrated.
  14. Feel unimportant.
  15. Start with “When I was your age … “
  16. Realize they don’t believe you were ever their age.
  17. Spout off a few cool-kid acronyms in a valiant attempt to relate.
  18. Stop yourself because you’re better than that.
  19. Wipe beaded shame from your brow.
  20. Briefly wonder whether you could hire a professional to have these talks for you.
  21. Imagine the kind of money you could make from a business like that.
  22. Wonder when talking to your kid suddenly got so hard.
  23. Take a lightning-fast mental stroll down memory lane when your kid used to go into painstaking detail about every aspect of his day. Gosh, that hurt so good.
  24. Convince yourself that you’re easy to talk to. Doesn’t your tween know how lucky they are?
  25. Realize the clock is ticking and your tween’s limited attention is expiring.
  26. Make a joke.
  27. Realize you’re the only one laughing.
  28. Explain to your tween that that wasn’t all you wanted to talk about.
  29. Ponder whether you should have made an appointment with your tween.
  30. Remind yourself who pays the bills.
  31. Feel suddenly drunk on parental power.
  32. Start talking again — this time with authority.
  33. Realize you’re pointing.
  34. Attempt to translate one-word answers and decode strange tweenage body language.
  35. Move closer.
  36. Try to ignore the fact that your tween leaned away.
  37. Put your arm around your tween.
  38. Resist the temptation to discuss the merits of deodorant.
  39. Realize you should have brought snacks. Cheetos sound really good right about now.
  40. Keep talking.
  41. Quiz your tween on what you just said to see if they were listening.
  42. Take it personally when they can’t answer you.
  43. Guilt your tween by telling them you won’t be around forever.
  44. Make a quick, silent bargain with your maker about that.
  45. Consider paying your tween for their time.
  46. Decide that’s stupid.
  47. Or is it?
  48. Yes, yes it is.
  49. Forget that your neighbor is best friends with her tween son or how your mom friend stays up all night talking with her tween daughter. They’re liars. LIARS!
  50. Keep talking. Understand that even though you’re doing the talking, you’re not even listening anymore.
  51. Convince yourself that genuine heart-to-heart conversations happen when you least expect them. Because they better.
  52. Tell your tween that you’re always available to talk.
  53. Take their nod as a small victory.
  54. Hug them longer than they want you to.
  55. Decide three “fines” and two “OKs” made for solid conversation.
  56. Pat them on the back and say “Good talk,” as they reach for their phone.
  57. Brag to all your friends about what a close relationship you have.
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Article Posted 5 years Ago

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