21 Reasons Why Teenagers Won’t Listen To You

21 Reasons Why Teenagers Won’t Listen To You

BLOG OVERVIEW: Teenagers have a difficult time listening, but why? This post covers 21 possible reasons why your teenager won’t listen to you.

No, you don’t need to take your son to the doctor to test his hearing. I know you have thought about it.

It seems as though everything that comes out of your mouth falls on deaf ears.

When you talk on the phone to him, NOTHING! Aside from the occasional, “a huh, yeah, ok, alright,” there is complete silence.

Why Teenagers Won't Listen To You Parents

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You try to have an adult conversation because you want to respect him, but it seems to never get anywhere. Usually with a follow up conversation of, “Did you not hear what I said yesterday?” And the answer is, “Uh, I don’t know.” Are they lying? Are they confused? Or are have they just learned the new teenagese language and can no longer understand you?

Or there is still that option of your son just losing his hearing? Sometimes that just makes more sense, right?

Instead, I have complied a possible list of 21 reasons why teenagers won’t listen to you or your spouse.

21 Reasons Why Teenagers Won’t Listen

  1. Searching for identity. They are preoccupied about defining themselves. Is it through friends, sports, and or schooling? They are on the hunt and sometimes get lost in the trees. In the trees, there is a lot of noise and they have a hard time distinguishing which one to listen to.
  2. Mind is on girls/guys. They are wrapped up in a girl/guy and you are fighting for attention.
  3. Communication is social media. Most of their communication is through Facebook, Twitter, and texting. Maybe text them even if they are right in front of you. (Kidding, don’t do that.)
  4. Not important. Really, what you have to say is unimportant to their lives. Anything said could go in one ear and out the other.
  5. They are playing a video game. Don’t expect them to hear a word you said if their focus is glued on a video game.
  6. Middle of texting. You are interrupting their conversation. Texting is as much of a face to face conversation to teenagers. They will not be able to hear you.
  7. Lost a friend. Friendships matter tremendously to teenagers. Is there a relationship that has just fallen apart?
  8. Received a bad grade. One simple grade could tailspin a teenager from focusing on anything you say. All they are concerned about is how they were judged on a test.
  9. Struggling in sports. If their life revolves around sports, it could be the very reason why your teenager won’t listen to you.
  10. Just want space. Maybe you understand this because you are the same way. Like you, they just want space. They don’t want to listen to you right now.
  11. Lack listening skills. Listening is a learned skill. They need to be taught proper ways of listening.
  12. Don’t respect you. Some where down the line, they stopped respecting you. The grounding, yelling, and speeches will not change anything.
  13. Aren’t respected. Yes, they are only teenagers, but research shows they are looking for respect. This doesn’t mean submitting to them. You are still their parents and they understand that.
  14. Don’t trust you. Has their been a bridge burned? Communication without trust is difficult.
  15. Aren’t trusted. They feel they have earned it (whether true or not, they feel that way). They are looking for mutual trust.
  16. Stressed. Life has been overwhelming and draining. Their stress is complicating all internal processing, including listening.
  17. Depressed. Have they been overly quiet or withdrawn? Could depression be the cause?
  18. Worried. Different than stress, worry usually points to the future. Is it about school, college, or finances?
  19. Mirroring you. How are your listening skills? They could simply be reflecting how you listen. (I know, that one might hurt.)
  20. Deep-rooted grudge. It might be grudge toward you, your spouse, or other children. Grudges will damage many legs of communication.
  21. Lack of follow-through. They have you pegged. They know your follow-through is spotty. They are simply gambling on you not following through.

Teenagers Who Listen Well

While many of you simply want your teenager to listen, there is more to the equation.

Some of these items might have been spot on and other more comical to you. Either way, you want your son to listen to you because you want the best for them. But there is a process.

I learned from an early age, listening is one of the most valuable skills to possess in life. However, as I have been around teaching, training, and coaching teenagers for the past 10 years, I’ve learned many teenagers do not have this skill. Or their listening skill is really poor.

One of the greatest resources to listening is reading the book of Proverbs. If you don’t believe me? Grab a bible and read through it. See how many times it refers to listening. Or read the classic book How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie.

Ways To Get Your Teenager To Listen

I will be following up this post on how to get your teenagers to listen. This information will blow your mind. I believe it will transform communication in your parenting relationship in ways you thought it were never possible.

Check back when it is released or sign-up if you would like an email update on this post.

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About Jared Buckley

Experienced in family adversity, Jared has witnessed the great potential in hardships. Jared has spent the last 10 years coaching, teaching, and leading all members of families. From teaching teenagers to counseling couples, Jared has focused his energy on showing the great potential for families and marriages who leverage adversity through the power of Christ.
  • Cyrena

    Great article! I’d also add to the list: 22. Can’t see the relevance. Kids can’t understand how what we say could possibly be relevant today. Let’s face it, we’re OLD to them. How can we understand what’s going on?

    • Jared @ A-Traditional Family

      So true Cyrena. Teenagers do not always understand the wisdom through the passing generations. Somethings remain the same, but are clothed differently.