The Importance of Communication Between Parents and Teens
Teenagers are experiencing rapid changes, both mentally and physically, and this can have a negative impact on communication between parents and teenagers.
Many parents find it difficult to understand when their teen becomes moody and begins challenging their authority. Although you may feel hurt and rejected it’s vital to show patience and keep communicating with teens for the sake of your child’s wellbeing.
Research has found that maintaining a close relationship with your teen during their adolescent years helps protect them from engaging in substance abuse and other risky behaviours.
Tips for Healthy Communication Between Parents and Teens
Take notice of how you speak to each other
If your conversations involve mostly arguments and accusations, you’ll need to show more empathy. This isn’t easy with a surly teen, but the effort will be worth it. Pay attention to both of your communication styles and work on them for a more harmonious relationship.
Give them your time
To foster good parent and teenager communication you need to spend regular quality time together. Make the effort to give them your undivided attention and really listen to what they say. We recommend putting the devices away and doing something fun together.
Establish rules together
Young people will be more inclined to follow the rules if they have a say in making them. This shows that you value their input and it gives you an opportunity to explain why the rules are important. Don’t be afraid to compromise on small things. You’re teaching them how adult relationships work, and this involves give and take on both sides.
Respect their space
Teens need privacy and space to become independent adults. Don’t pepper them with questions if they don’t want to talk. It’s their right to keep some things to themselves. People have different communication styles, and if your child tends to be more reserved, let them know you’re there for them when they’re ready to talk. Pushing them will only make them clam up even more.
Choose your battles wisely
Does it really matter if your teenager’s room is messy or if they left their shoes in the hall again? When you choose your battles wisely you conserve energy for more serious matters. Communicating with teens can be frustrating at times, but not ‘sweating the small stuff’ can help create a more peaceful home.
Talk about the important stuff
Many parents find it hard to talk about sex and drugs, but how can you expect your kids to come to you with questions or problems if you’re too afraid to broach these subjects? Healthy parent and teenager communication requires openness and honesty about sensitive subjects.
Be supportive and positive
One of the most damaging things a parent can do is belittle a child’s interests, dreams, beliefs or fears. Your teen needs to trust that you’re on their side unconditionally before they’ll share things with you. Trust is the basis of healthy parent and teenager communication.
Get to know their friends
Your teen may tell you things about their friends they won’t tell you about themselves. This is a good way to discuss important issues. Knowing their friends also allows you to keep up to date with what’s going on in their lives and to feel included. It’s also a great idea to follow them on social media.
Keep hugging them
Teenagers are a mess of contradictions. On one hand, they crave privacy and independence, and on the other, they’ve never felt so alone and abandoned. A hug now and then will remind them they’re loved and supported. Knowing you’re there for them and understand their needs will help your teen open up to you.
At some point you need to let go and trust your teen will make the right decisions. Showing trust keeps the channels of parent and teenager communication open. If your teen does something to break this trust, try to avoid anger and recrimination and instead use it as a learning experience.
How a Tutor Can Help
A tutor can help foster positive communication between parents and teenagers by teaching students how to express themselves more effectively.
Discussing their learning needs regularly with an adult helps students speak clearly and confidently about issues that concern them. This gives them the skills to communicate more easily with their parents.
Contact us for a free consultation today.