Video Interview with 13 year old: Getting Teens to Open Up

On Wednesday I weighed in on how to connect to your child’s heart by being a safe place. Today, we’re going to ask Madi, my 13 year old for her advice on getting our teens to open up.

I’ve asked Madi to be very candid. We’ll see if she throws me under the bus!

If you can’t see this video, follow this link:

Do you find it difficult to not offer advice when our kids are emotional? How does it make you feel as a parent to just listen when you have so much wisdom to give? I’d love to hear from you!



  1. Wow! The part where she said to wait to give advice until after the emotions are over really hit me between the eyes.

    Recently, my youngest was very upset that he didn't make the school soccer team. He was responding in what I thought was a really obnoxious way. When I started to talk about how to be a good loser, he started crying (my huge middle school boy!), and said, "Mom, why can't you just be on my side right now?" I felt terrible.

    Your daughter is very wise, and I'm going to take her words to heart.

  2. Thank you so much for the video. I too have a 13 year old daughter. I like to think that she could come to me with her problems, but I know she does keep some things to herself because she is afraid I will get mad. She will definately be listening to this to see how I stack up and how I can be more open to what she has to say and what she is going through. It's so hard to raise good christian children with the world constantly attacking them. I am going to take your daughters advice and show my children that I am always there for them. Thanks again.

  3. I am bleassed to have one very open, one a little bit and one not so much…wish they were all as transparent as Madi. But like she said – I can't compare!

  4. Please thank your daughter on behalf of us moms of girls of all ages for talking about how we can best be supportive to our girls. It IS difficult to not give advice when things are emotional, because we aren't feeling the direct emotions, so we can be more objective and want to jump in and help solve the problem or take away the pain. But moms are also female, which means that we do "get it" more than the dads do. What I find harder than not jumping in to give advice is when we are all together and I realize my daughter just wants to express her feelings, and Dad is jumping in. I don't know whether to try to stop him for the daughter's sake, or what! Because I definitely want Dad to be involved, and I want him to know that we appreciate him. Maybe I'll have to play this video for him privately sometime. Thanks!

  5. Crystal,
    I asked Madi about the Dad thing…we have that too! She said I think Dads are just protective of their daughters and don't want them to hurt. They just want to get out what they have to say because they want it fixed right now.

    What I do (Lynn) is keep reminding my girls that the way their dad loves them is by protecting them. Sometimes it seems like it comes across as mad, but that is just his protective heart.

    Hope that helps!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Excellent advice Madi! Thanks for your willigness to share! Monica

  7. Michelle VanAusdall says:

    I realize that way too many times I tend to respond in the heat of the moment, rather than just listening to what my daughter has to say. Just recently we are disagreeing on her hanging out with a boy that I don't know and the tension in our house is thick and unbearable, as we are not communicating well at all. Thank you to your daughter and to you for taking the time to be honest and share how you communicate. I am hoping to use what you've shared with my own daughters.

  8. Reacting to me always shut me down as a teenager, so I tried hard not to openly do that when my kids talked their heart to me. They talked because I didn't react( they told me then and now).

    Listening has huge value, but only listening without the wisdom of the Word is vain. Share the Word gently and keep on loving. God will see to it that the Word won't come back void.

    How did or does it make me feel when my wisdom isn't listened to? I guess I always knew that we so often learn from mistakes, but I was very sad to watch that happen.

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