1. Only speak when spoken to. Random conversation is out of the question.
  2. Pose your questions wisely. You usually get three questions in any given situation and time is of the essence.
  3. Never underestimate the value of text communication with your teenager. I've learned a lot of crucial information about what my teenager is really thinking or feeling via text.
  4. There is absolutely no talking with your teenager in the car.
  5. If you ever do actually achieve a conversation with your teenager, avoid the temptation to talk it up. It's hard to be the listener. It's hard to let silence linger and not your spoken word as the conversation comes to a close. It's hard not to have the last word.
  6. Let your teenager begin to write his own story, separate from the family story. You are no longer in charge of the plot. You are no longer in control of the cast of characters or the setting. Your teenager is becoming his own auteur. Be patient as he creates.
  7. Maybe write a list of all the things you wish to communicate to your teenager. Start the list with: I love you.