One important listening skill to use when communicating with your teenager is using Door Openers, as opposed to Door Slammers. Door Openers are open-ended responses that do not convey evaluation or judgment. Door Slammers are just the opposite. They convey to your teenager that you do not wish to have this discussion with them.
Examples of Door Openers
- "What do you think?"
- "Would you like to share more about that?"
- "That's a good question."
- "I don't know, but I'll find out"
- "I'm interested in what you are saying."
- "Do you know what that means?"
- "That sounds important to you."
- "Do you want to talk about it?"
Examples of Door Slammers
- "You are too young to understand."
- "If you say that again, I'll..."
- "That's none of your business."
- "I don't care what your friends are doing!"
- "We'll talk about that when you need to know."
- "That's just for boys/girls"
- "Why are you asking me that?"
- "You don't need to know about that."
- "Don't come to me if you mess up."
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Source: Parent Effectiveness Training