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Have you encountered roadblocks communicating with your teen? … Here we provide some helpful communication tools with a perspective on improving communication by addressing nutrient imbalances associated with stress tolerance, mood regulation, and thought processing.

MindCheck provides weekly in-depth information on the orthomolecular approach to coping with mood, behavior and psychotic disorders.  This series by Dr. Ray Pataracchia N.D. is endorsed by the  Mindful Network - ‘A Better Future for Children’s Mental Health’.

Communicating With Your Teen: Lifestyle & Nutrient Perspectives

Teen Communication and Nutrient Imbalance

There are nutrient imbalances associated with behavior and development.  If your teen is having difficulty communicating then nutrient balancing can be a great intervention.  Targeted therapy with orthomolecular nutrition is well suited to help balance teen biochemistry.  Here are a list of the top 15 nutrient syndromes associated with mood, thinking and perception imbalances.

Lifestyle Approaches for Better Teen Communication

The open line of communication between kids and parents often dwindles as kids reach teenage years.

Communicating with a teenager that is nonresponsive can be frustrating, parents often feel like they want to scream because of the road block. 

Does this all sound familiar?  The bottom line is that parents and teens need to communicate meaningfully to get anywhere.

Communicating Meaningfully

To communicate meaningfully you need to identify the roadblocks and navigate around them.

According to experts, here are some common problems that teens face every day:

i) Teens often feel like they are onstage in front of an audience, under the continuous glare of a spotlight that is aimed at them.  Facing an unforgiving spotlight can be daunting and many teens pull back and isolate themselves.

ii) Teens desire independence.  Independence is a part of growing up and privacy is needed for this to happen.  Privacy allows them time to assimilate and think things through before revealing them to others.

iii) Teens tend to consult with their friends rather than their parents.  [That being said, teens may say otherwise but they really value their parents’ advice.]

To communicate meaningfully, experts recommend first giving your teen the time to dwell on things in private so later on they are in a frame of mind more conducive to communication.  The next step is keeping the door open to talk.

How to Keep the Door Open?  What Parents & Experts Say

A. Get your teen to talk while others are around

Often teens feel free to talk when others are around and a simple follow through on the same topic later when they are alone may open up the door.

B. Praise your teen often

If you praise your teen often they may feel more relaxed to open up later.

C. Timing is important

Parents may need to stop and take advantage of the opportune time to communicate.  Some teens have better times of the day to communicate.  For example, before your teen goes to bed they may want to talk; you may not want to stay up late but this may be the most opportune time to talk about anything.

D. Talk while doing something together

If you take a drive, take a walk, play a sport, a game, or do a chore together, you have their attention in an informal setting that often helps them feel comfortable enough to open up.

E. Look for the hidden message

It is often the hidden meaning behind what is said that’s important.  Since teens speak in terms of absolutes you need to discern the hidden meaning.  For example, if they say ‘you don’t listen’, they may really be saying that they want to tell you how they feel.  If they say ‘you treat me like a kid’, they may really be saying that they feel you don’t trust them.

If this happens acknowledge their being upset, ask them to tell you what they want to say and how they really feel.

F. Shift the attention away from your teen

Tell them how your day was so they feel better sharing theirs.  Ask them what their friends’ opinion is on a topic, then ask them what advice they would give to their friend.

G. Spend more time listening then counselling