Until I started working at The Mustard Seed, an organization working with individuals experiencing homelessness and poverty, I asked and was asked "how are you?" a lot. The reply I got was almost always the same: "I'm good, thanks, and you?" But one girl changed my mind, and taught me to listen. As important as I've realized this practice is in everyday relationships, it is even more important when working with vulnerable populations.
The thing is, most of the time teens are fine with not being listened to by their parents. But here's the problem: What happens when you really need them to? You see, all your training in getting them to ignore you isn't going to come in handy. You're, like, the kid who yelled woof! Or barked, or something.