Did you know that talking to your teens at night might help them open up more?
Psychologist for teens and young adults, Lauren Kerwin explained that part of the reason why teens open up at night is their biological changes and developmental stages make them want to stay up later
Having trouble talking to your teenager? Getting them to open up to you about what’s going on in their life might mean staying up later to talk with them at night.
Here’s what we know.
Who said it? The Washington Post suggested that teenagers may be more willing to talk if parents let their teenagers tuck them in for the night, so “they can satisfy both their drive for autonomy and their diametrically opposed longing to connect with loving adults.”
A study in the Wiley Online Library reported that parent-adolescent relationships can help foster better mental health in teens and “fewer delinquency was entirely mediated by family routines, parental monitoring, and parental supportiveness, net of sociodemographic controls.”
Why do teens open up at night? Lauren Kerwin, a psychologist for teens and young adults, explained that part of the reason why teens open up at night is their biological changes and developmental stages make them want to stay up later, according to Your Teen Magazine.
“During adolescence, kids turn into night owls,” Kerwin said. “Their circadian rhythms adjust, causing them to get sleepy only later at night.”
Naturepedic reported that adolescents might also crave conversation around bedtime because the conversation can be given more thought, as opposed to during the day, when there’s too much to tackle mentally.
How it works: Psychologist Lisa Damour wrote for The Washington Post that parents who embrace the nighttime chat will help establish stronger relationships that can prevent mental health concerns.
“As a psychologist who cares for teens and their families, and as the mother of teenagers myself, I have watched as my children sit silently through dinner, bristling a every question asked, only to be eager to chat once I’ve called it a night,” Damour said.
Naturepedic further reported that, with less disruptions, parents can really focus on what their child is saying and offer some thoughtful insight and give their teen more time to reflect on the conversation as well.
“When they come home, they can unwind, relax, and be themselves — there’s no social pressure anymore,” Kerwin said. “This can help them open up more, verbally and emotionally.”