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Friday, July 29, 2016

Knowing How to Read the Signs Your Teen Is Giving

By Megan S. Willman   

When little kids are around the house, most parents don’t have to wonder what the kids are thinking or where they are: simply look down around your feet and tune into the stream of joyous chatter. With teenagers around, that has mostly changed — and drastically! It may feel like pulling teeth just to get a grumbled “fine” in response to your “nosy” inquiry after her well-being.

Fear not, parents are most often the best of detectives, and by learning to read body language, you can decipher some critical clues. In her article “The Body Language of Your Teenager,” Julie-Ann Amos details three typical teenage non-verbal behaviors and offers tips on interpreting their meaning. Of course, these tools offer no surefire guarantee — we’re raising unique individuals, after all! But Amos’ tips give us a place to start when we aren’t getting actual words from our teens.

Slumped Posture:
This might mean that she is worried, self-conscious, or simply pre-occupied.
Amos’ Advice: First, think about what your teen’s normal posture is. If you see a change, don’t pressure her (or tell her to ‘stand up straight!’), but be available for casual conversation.

Poor Eye Contact: 
Good eye contact is something that can take a while for teens to learn, especially with adults and even with their own parents. It can make honest face-to-face conversation uncomfortable for him/her.
Amos’ Advice: Start a chat while in the car or take a bike ride. It takes some pressure off of face-to-face conversation and may make your teen more comfortable.

Just Hanging Around: 
If your teen usually goes off to his room but is hanging out in the living room with you, he may want to talk (or may just wants some time together).
Amos’ Advice: Don’t make a big deal and embarrass him by expressing surprise. Take the lead and do something together. (And don’t forget to treasure the moment!)

How well do your know your teen? Does their body language tell you much about their emotions? 


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