Â Why your teenager just doesn’t get it! I recently discovered that asking a teenager why they did something is just like blowing spit into a fan. You get little back, and what you get back, you wish you did not get back.
A teenager does not know why they did something; they just did it! So stop asking why and start asking what. What do you want to accomplish? That’s the right question to ask a teen who does not want to go to college, or do their homework. What do they want, and how do they intend to reach their goal?Â
According to Nancy L. Brown Phd
, “Ever wonder why some teens do not seem very competent at long-term planning, empathy, or in-depth conversation? Ever feel like you are asking for some introspection and quizzing your child about how they feel and getting a blank stare? If so, it will not help to nag or worse, scream, just blame it on their neocortex — the part of the human brain responsible for language, planning, empathy, and executive functions. The neocortex has not fully developed, so teens rely more on the amygdala, the gut-instinct part of the brain that manages emotions and memories associated with emotion – duh!”
I have a teenaged daughter who does somethings that would drive me nuts. I had to go to therapy to deal with her. When she was about 7-years-old, I kept hearing myself say to her, “why did you do that?” She would look at me blankly, and I realized she did not know why she did it. So I stopped asking why and started asking what. Give it a try!
It just may save you, and your teen or tween a lot of wasted words and worry. Just remember, you were a teenager once, and you survived. The key is now to continue to survive while raising your own little darling.