For a very long time, (for our teen that is a lifetime: their lifetime), the parent most likely owned the role of talker more than listener.
To switch to being the primary listener can be quite a challenge for some. Basically, you have to get comfortable with not saying anything! It is a struggle but that is how it should be for a while if you want to improve communication with your teen.
Not only do you need to embrace the role of listener, but you will have to master the fine arts of effective listening specific to teens (something many of us are not aware of), as well holder of the tongue, and of course the ever required body language and mind reader skills we perfected (?) when they were little.
You might be thinking: I am an adult. I communicate with adults every day.
I am all across that Active Listening shit: maintaining eye contact; providing your full attention; positive, open body language; engagement in the conversation; questioning; providing feedback and/or seeking clarification
bla bla bla….
Most adults will be competent in these skills and because we are treating our teenagers like young adults, ACTIVE listening MUST be the way to go right?
Experts will tell you about the importance of effective listening skills to improve communications with teens. More often than not however, the concept of effective listening is unfortunately interpreted as the teen doing the listening. Ummm no.