How to get your kids to talk to you

Do you know what your children are thinking?  How can you listen to them and understand them if they won't open up?

Communicating with children who are tweens and teens can be like splitting hairs sometimes.  Parents want to have open discussion with their kids, but many parents nowadays didn't have that kind of communication with their own parents, so they simply did not learn the skills to effectively communicate.

In addition to parents not having the skills, some kids spend a lot of time "in the world" and the world would have them learn that parents are lame, inept, and it's completely and utterly ridiculous to speak with these adults about anything.

If those are not your issues, then perhaps your child is just going through changes that they are not comfortable discussing.  But you can help them to be comfortable with you, to trust you, and to confide in you.

Our director, Dianne McLean, says "One of the worst mistakes that we as parents make with our children as they get older is to give them so much space that they no longer feel comfortable confiding in us or being around us.  They need us just as involved during the teenage years than any other time – because they are rapidly changing and it can be conflicting and confusing."  Don't send your kids out to the world for answers – be their advocate and mentor!

It's important to listen to your children, to understand what they dream about, their passions, their goals.  In this way, you can guide them.  Listening is one of the most important elements to parenting, and many of us just need some direction on how to do that better.

We get so many requests from parents who want to understand their children, that we invited Thom Neil to present on this very topic of communication in our series – the 2014 Not Back to School Summit.  With 30 speakers and more than 65 sessions, there was truly something for everyone.

Thom has always maintained a love of learning. Several years ago he turned his attention to public speaking and mentoring. He has had many opportunities to continue his education studying presentation, body language, and mentoring. He loves to share these gifts daily. Thom is an enthusiastic, passionate, loyal husband to Tresta and dad to eight amazing children. He introduced homeschooling to his family and has encouraged its success in their home.  Enthusiasm for life's good, passion for his family and trust in the Lord led him through the darkest of valleys including his son's liver failure and transplantation.  His experiences give him insight into the eyes of those he mentors. With his passion for learning and continued education from life, he inspires other men, women and their children to a life full of transformational learning. Thom has been mentoring and training people of all ages for over 10 years on leadership, personal connection and life transformation.

Thom presented the workshop free during the live sessions, and the replay has now been moved to our upgraded member archives (you must be logged in to view it):

The Power in Connecting — “Mentoring Your Children on Their Path”
aired Sept 23rd –

Your kids want you to listen and understand them.  You know that in order to connect, you have to listen and understand, but that’s difficult, if not impossible, if they won’t talk.  When you leave this training you will have the tools to begin conversing freely with your loved one.  You will see the clues they send you in their body language.  You will recognize with confidence their powerful traits and discover the connection between who they are and who they can become.  You will also have the skills to begin guiding them on their path.


  • The 3 magic words to get them to talk, and
  • The 5 steps of an interview (how not to make it an interrogation)
  • The 4 keys to put it all together to really connect and understand



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