If you find that your teen doesn’t listen to you consider it a problem. She needs your input and guidance, and she needs to learn to listen to people even when she doesn’t feel like it. Most teens are so full of their own feelings, opinions and experiences that they don’t listen well to anyone – even each other.

it can be very frustrating for parents to deal with kids who are ignoring them or other family members. Certainly, it can be very irritating and obnoxious. But here’s the bottom line: the less you take these behaviors personally, the more effectively you’ll be able to deal with the different phases your children will go through as they mature.


Expect your teen to pay attention – Your teen may be distracted by his inner and outer worlds. He doesn’t have to agree or give you lots of feedback, but he needs to pay attention

Talk to your teen about the problem- Sit down and be direct with him. Check to see if  your teen has been alienated from  you for some reason. Sometimes they withdraw and shut down because they are hurt or feel misunderstood.

Expect your teen to acknowledge hearing you and ask for a response Just because your kid is looking at you doesn’t mean she gets it. Let her know exactly what she is to do so that you will know she is listening. E.g.

I want you to look at me when we talk, and I won’t make it forever

I need you to say “ok” or “alright” if you understand. It doesn’t have to mean you agree, it just means you heard

I need you to tell me what I just asked you to do, and by when, so I know you got it

Hold your teen responsible for what she said e.g.

I asked you to set the dinner table, and you kept playing video games. This is not ok with me

Give consequences if your teen continues to ignore you

I guess this is a bigger problem than I thought. I’ve asked you to pay attention to me when I tell you something and you must acknowledge that you heard me, and this isn’t happening. So from now on, if  you don’t tell me “ok” and then follow through with what I’ve asked you to do, you will lose whatever is distracting you from paying attention, whether it’s the television, computer, or music

Don’t expect your teenager to be your confidante and listener They don’t need to hear all about your life and struggles as if they were a close friend. Don’t burden them with having to take care of your emotional needs.