Trisha writes:

How can I encourage both my husband and my 15 year old son in their communication with each other and family? Our 15 year old son is very quiet (unless he's with his small group of close friends). My husband gets irritated with our son's lack of communication.  Thanks! I know this is typical for a teenage boy!

Dr. Todd writes:

The best way for your husband to get your 15-year-old talking is for him to create an atmosphere that makes it easy for your son to talk.  In other word, your husband wants to become (if he's not already) an easy-to-talk-to kind of dad. 

One way to accomplish this is for your husband to make it a priority to spend some regular time with your son, doing activities that your son enjoys.  Think of it as preparing the soil before you plant the seed.  During these fun times, your husband will be able to initiate a few caring questions about things your son cares about: school, activities, friends, and his future.  I wouldn't expect your son to open up right away and that's OK; but he will be aware that his dad is showing interest in him. If your husband stays consistent with these one-on-one times and with initiating conversations, your son will begin to feel more comfortable talking to dad about the little stuff which will lead to more comfort talking about the big stuff.

Dr. Todd

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