Home > Uncategorized > How to Shut Your Teenager Up (for a minute)

How to Shut Your Teenager Up (for a minute)

I don’t know how much of this will apply to teenage boys, since that experience is still ahead of me… however, I do know that when my daughter turned thirteen, a switch got flipped in her previously sweet and gentle little heart.

I have since spent much less time with her, since she has told me that the time of her enjoying her parents has passed.  Those times that I do get to spend with her, though, are usually filled with her nonstop chatter, generally trying to convince me of something.  I am, apparently, bad about interrupting, because she tends to preface these with statements such as, “Now just hear me out,” or “Keep an open mind.”  My open mind generally lasts about thirty seconds, but she will not stop talking.  There are ways to deal with this, but since many of them end in anger and high volume, I have been forced to find other options.  I don’t enjoy yelling at my kid, and she doesn’t enjoy listening to her mother, at any volume.  Therefore, I’ve experimented and found all of these techniques to be useful.  As in her toddlerhood, distraction is the key.  I just have to be creative in the distraction.

  1. Pet her face.  Nothing shuts her up faster than me running my hand gently across her face.  It’s also effective in making her lose her train of thought.
  2. Throw a pop culture reference at her.  One night she was delivering an impassioned speech to her father and I about why she doesn’t need a babysitter.  She stated, “I’m old enough.  I’m smart enough.”  I absolutely could not resist adding “And doggone it, people like you!”  Trust me, the five minutes of her parents snorting and hysterically laughing prompted a new topic.
  3. Get extremely serious, look straight into her eyes and say, “SHHHHHHH.”  It works surprisingly often.
  4. Twist her words.  Take something that she says and pretend to be offended and outraged by it.  The conversation will immediately turn to her assuring you that she meant no harm.
  5. Start dancing.  Bonus points if you’re in public.  No one wants to talk to a dancing fool.
  6. The mocking game.  Remember when your little ones would annoy each other by parroting every. single. word. the other said?  Time to turn the tables.  (warning, this one is likely to result in her stomping out of the room.  It’s very fun if you can deal with that.)
  7. Find a chore.  Nothing ends a conversation faster than a statement like, “Hey, while we’re talking about this, you can help me fold this laundry.”
  8. Start asking questions.  A lot of questions.  Start with relevant questions, then wander off onto random tangents.  It’s likely that she will forget what she was on about in the first place.
  9. About the time she says, “Keep an open mind,” reply with “Okay, but I had a really bad day and I’m really crabby right now.  What can I do for you?”  She will vanish.
  10. Duct tape.

disclaimer.  I haven’t actually used the duct tape.  Yet.

via funny-pictures-blog.com

via funny-pictures-blog.com

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: , , , ,
  1. March 18, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    Where were you when I needed you? I could pass this info on to my daughter since my granddaughter has just turned 13..but than I think no. Let her go through what she put me through when she hit puberty! Payback time!

    • March 18, 2013 at 4:56 pm

      Ha…I’ve heard that more than once from my mother, too. 🙂

  2. March 18, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    I have mastered #4 and #5. My quest for duct tape results in threats from said teenage girl involving something about “rights” and social services being called. I have also found that asking if she has questions about sex sends her running and rolling her eyes. Problem solved. Great post!

    • March 18, 2013 at 7:18 pm

      I don’t know how I forgot that one…you’re totally right, any conversation about sex or monthly occurrences sends them away fast, too! I hear about rights from time to time, and I’m quick to remind her that she HAS no rights! bwahaha! Thanks for reading!

  3. March 19, 2013 at 12:38 am

    The dancing option had me laughing out loud. I found a good attention-getter with teens was to call out from the computer in the kitchen: “Hey, it looks like someone left their Facebook account logged in . . . what should I post???”

    • March 19, 2013 at 6:10 am

      That’s a great one!

  4. March 19, 2013 at 2:24 am

    Hahahaha. Still laughing. Add to that, hugging or any other form of public affection, in mid sentence. The great thing about this, you can either hug the teenager, or your husband/wife. It works well, either way.

    • March 19, 2013 at 6:11 am

      That’s a good point…Hubs and I can clear a room with a hug. And if we should dare to kiss, the kids run away, screaming, “PG-13!!!”

  5. March 19, 2013 at 8:34 am

    Hilarious!!! I love #2!!!

    • March 19, 2013 at 7:33 pm

      Thanks…I almost rolled off the couch, I cracked myself up so much.

  6. March 19, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    I am going to use this with my 6 year old. Especially the dancing one!

    • March 19, 2013 at 7:34 pm

      It’s awesome to do in the grocery store! 🙂

      • March 19, 2013 at 7:58 pm

        I just laughed really loud. That is great

      • March 20, 2013 at 6:10 am

        Thanks 🙂 I do try to stay on top of my mom-game. Haha!

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