How to Encourage Teen Girls to Discuss Their Feelings


While you might not be able to pry your teenage daughter off of her cell phone, the minute you ask her a question, she might clam up. Teen girls often have the gift of gab, but that doesn't mean your teen will be willing to tell all to you as her parent. If you want your teen to open up about her feelings, you'll have to do more than ask her about her day. Instead, setting the proper atmosphere and knowing the right topics can help loosen her tongue and start talking.

  • Create an atmosphere for sharing. Trying to talk when your teen is tapping away on her cell phone or trying to watch a TV show means you don't have her full attention. Instead, look for an opportunity that is quiet and free of distractions, such as when you're driving in the car or before your teen turns off her electronics and goes to bed for the night.

  • Ask the right questions that encourage sharing. If you ask "How was your day?" You'll probably get a one-word answer: "Fine." Instead, ask questions that require more than one word and get your teen talking. Try, "Who would you say is your best friend? Why?" to find out what your teen values in a friend. Or, "What was the best part about your day?" to get her talking about her feelings about the day-to-day stuff.

  • Check in regularly with your teen. If talking is only a once-in-a-while thing, she won't be in the habit of communicating with you. But if you make a point to set aside time to talk, spilling her emotions to you becomes more common and a lot easier. Whether you set a regular date or you chat at the same time each day, the more often you ask about your teen's feelings, the more often she'll be willing to discuss them.

  • Withhold your judgment or advice unless your teen asks for it, according to the Ohio State University Cooperative Extension. If she's having friend drama at school and you try to give unsolicited advice, she become upset and be less likely to share with you in the future. Instead, show her that you're listening by giving her your full attention, but reserving your own ideas until she asks "What should I do?"

  • Get to know as much about your teen and her schedule as possible. You should know her school classes, friends, likes, dislikes and other particulars, notes the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. The more you know about your teen, the more comfortable she'll be in telling you about her feelings and emotions about what she considers important.


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