Parents and adolescents sometimes find themselves in conflict when communicating. It could result in the child not talking to the parent. Or it could get to the point where all conversations erupt into arguments and screaming matches. What can parents do when they find themselves in such a situation?
Authors, trainers and husband-and-wife team, Jamilah Samian and Ahmad Fakhri Hamzah, share their thoughts on how parents can overcome conflicts and the problem of the reticent child.
Jamilah points out that sometimes parents, forgetting that the children are growing up, continue to talk to them as if they are still toddlers or preschoolers.
"Over time, we develop certain patterns of talking with each of our children. Sometimes we have a habit of maintaining that pattern regardless of the fact that they are growing and changing.
Children are always changing and we may not be aware of that change, so we stick to our old style, which might not be suitable for their developmental stage. Actually, the more they grow up, the less we should talk and the more we listen," she says.
Rather than questioning what is the problem, parents can just spend time with that child and talk to them casually about other things. If the child wants to talk about the problem, he or she probably will during the time spent together.
Jamilah cautions parents against asking directly what's wrong. This might make the child uncomfortable and they might ask you in return: "Why do you think that something is wrong with me?"
While some pre-teens and adolescents may turn sullen and stop talking to their parents, there is the other extreme. This is where the child starts raising his or her voice and this eventually escalates into shouting or screaming.
If your conversations with your child inevitably end up with an outburst of anger from him or her, there could be three possibilities: mental condition; a habit of screaming/shouting; or the child is just being rude.
For advice and tips on how to handle communication breakdown with the kids, go to the ParenThots website.
In What's Eating Your Child, author Kelly Dorfman recounts her experience treating children with behavioural and dietary issues.
Ghost Buddy is a good read and recommended for boys aged 10 to 12. The story is about a cool ghost aged 14 who helps an 11-year-old boy through the awkward and uncool phase in his life.