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Hangzhou International School
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Among the many rewarding challenges that parents and teachers face as we interact with teens, communication is at the top of the list. When our children transition from one developmental stage to the next it can be tricky to recognize the change as it occurs in them. It's as though they go to sleep one night and wake up a different person the next day, while at the same time we've only just begun to become accustomed to the previous milestone they just completed. Our teens may feel perplexed when we don't recognize their newly attained independence or skill. With this we may hear words such as, "you don't listen," or even, "you just don't understand." While many times we really do not "understand" how all of their growth and development happened so quickly, one way to keep our pace with this changing landscape is to oppose it. Not an opposition with a disagreement, but instead, opposing the fast pace of their growth with the slowing down of our own reactions to our teens. Slowing down the pace of our conversations, responses and activities can provide us with the type of relaxed interactions needed to recognize interpersonal changes in our teens as they grow and develop. With this slowed response rate, an important thing to keep in mind is that often, their desire is that we recognize the emerging young adult form that they are aiming for, even as they are not quite there yet.