Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Do you mean 
Reply
Community Manager
Posts: 700
Registered: ‎12-05-2016

How do you ask your teenager 'RU OK?'

[ Edited ]

Next Thursday is RU OK day and this year's theme is 'You've got what it takes.'

 

As parents, we know that sometimes teenagers are incredibly hard to talk to.  Especially when it comes to us asking them about how they're feeling. 

I'd love to hear what works (or doesn't work) in your house when it comes to asking your teenager "Are you ok?"

 

@Beingme2017  @Zoesplace  @Orbit64  @LovingThruBlue @Chalke5  @motherbear  @Sonny

 

Want to get the ball rolling and share with us what works for you guys?

Parent Peer Supporter
Posts: 34
Registered: ‎07-26-2017

Re: How do you ask your teenager 'RU OK?'

Hi @Ngaio-RO, I love this topic.  I would have to say that asking any of my three boys "are you ok?" has never started a conversation.  What is interesting is how I react when they are clearly frustrated about something and tell you eg I wasn't picked for the touch football team.  The hardest thing is knowing how this has actually affected them and if what I say will be helpful or not.  Often their frustrations are ignored or not given credit or enough time to be dealt with properly and I'm sure this happens in many families.

Parent Peer Supporter
Posts: 161
Registered: ‎05-22-2017

Re: How do you ask your teenager 'RU OK?'

For miss 16 - asking what's happening in your world often starts a bit of a conversation

Also what doesn't work ? Saying anything that puts her on the defensive like 'what's wrong you don't seem yourself ' or ' are you ok !'

Sometimes If I see she's struggling in herself I'll suggest she grabs her old comfort toy and a fave book and chill

Master 13
Very tricky

As long as we are busy with a distraction - in the car is good

I'll start with what kind of day did you have and move on from there and if I'm lucky we can get onto how he's doing generally
Parent Peer Supporter
Posts: 34
Registered: ‎07-26-2017

Re: How do you ask your teenager 'RU OK?'

Hi @Beingme2017, I think the younger the child the more open they can be and I did find it harder to get information from my children after about 14 years of age.  And after endless discussions with my friends who have teenage girls it seems girls are generally more open.  Although that is is my circle of friends I don't know that actual stats on that.

Prolific scribe
Posts: 96
Registered: ‎03-21-2017

Re: How do you ask your teenager 'RU OK?'

Hi all , I find with my two  it's never a good idea to start a conversation cold with  how are you feeling etc , it's best to ask them " Are you ok ? " in the middle of a conversation . So I will initiate with something like " I had such a  big day today....blah blah "or  "You never guess what happened to me to day....  " 

Then I may move onto " how are things with you,  whats  going on at school,  with your mates  " etc . 

In the car is great because it's non direct . The more you talk about your feelings with them the more inclined they will be yo talk to you about those things too . For example , 

" I had a tough day today , I was really annoyed and upset when....  or I'm not feeling too good today I had an issue with.... Without ofcourse divulging too much detail and making it age appropriate. 

If you role model with them what you want to see from them over time you will reap rewards and results . 

Our kids come to us with anecdotes and stories of their day as we have modelled  this with them for many years . 

Conversations about nothing lead to conversations about everything and in amongst that are the gems . 

 

 

Frequent scribe
Posts: 26
Registered: ‎07-02-2017

Re: How do you ask your teenager 'RU OK?'

Great topic. Year 12 daughter has organised an R U Ok Day fundraiser at her school next week.  She has really needed this as she has been greatly affected by younger brother's expulsion from their school, and all the hoo ha that's has gone on at home this year.  I find the best this is just to be able to sit and listen to her when she wants to talk.  Just listen. Then I ask if she wants me to put forward any suggestions on coping strategies.  

Just be willing to really listen, whenever they want to talk. 

 

 

Parent Peer Supporter
Posts: 139
Registered: ‎06-11-2017

Re: How do you ask your teenager 'RU OK?'

I think it definitely helps to notice if your kids are not ok if you are fortunate enough to have a good relationship with them. I can usually tell pretty quickly when my daughter is not ok without either of us saying anything. Sometimes I find it easier to start with the simple questions first, rather than jump into a deep and meaningful conversation straight away.  How was lunch?  Did you have enough eat? etc. Other times, I just listen without trying to say much at all.  A hug never goes astray either, and just letting her know how much I love her and I am always available whenever she ready to talk.

Prolific scribe
Posts: 96
Registered: ‎03-21-2017

Re: How do you ask your teenager 'RU OK?'

[ Edited ]

Hi @Chalke5 . I think you are right about helping them process disappointment and giving them credit for  dealing with obstacles and hurts and being present with them while they deal with this . 

One thing I loved about my Mum was her unequivocal completely biased support for me . If I came home upset about a situation she was ALWAYS on my side 😜 Hilarious really , she would be up the school in minutes to sort it out  after listening intently to my take if woe and sympathising with me and believing he 100% even without hearing the other side 😁😂 Feeling I had her as my potential warrior was often enough for me not to need it and I just shook it off after a good old whinge and validation from Mum . Not bad for a Ma from a council estate in working class Britain in the 70s ! 

Awww we love our mums don't we 😉👍

 

Community Manager
Posts: 700
Registered: ‎12-05-2016

Re: How do you ask your teenager 'RU OK?'

That's such a great story @motherbear She sounds awesome.

 

And it's lovely hearing how tuned into your kids you all are, @Zoesplace @Chalke5 and @Faob_1

 

Highlighted
Scribe
Posts: 1
Registered: 2 weeks ago

Re: How do you ask your teenager 'RU OK?'

I have found that the best to ask the tricky question of RU OK? is by being understanding and making sure you see things from their point of view and try to forget you are the adult and do not give any advise, just listen to them and be there when they need it.

Quiet often my daughter comes in when I am cooking and will just start to help and chat about her day and her feelings about life in general. I must say that this is the time I value the most as I learn so much about her as she is growing up and trying to be the best that she can be.