Talking to teenagers can be one of the most complicated areas of communication.
This is because it’s so easy to get shut down on both sides of the conversation.
The key to keeping lines of communication open lies in following these simple strategies.
With a little effort, you can talk to your teen about anything.
Quit Asking Questions
Sometimes as a parent, it’s easy to get so caught up in asking questions that you forget to listen to what’s really going on.
Sometimes it’s best to just let the teen guide the conversation.
Sit back and listen to what they want to talk about. Let them show you what they’ve been thinking about.
Don’t be so quick to offer advice.
Sometimes the best thing you can do for your teen is to validate their emotions.
Let them know you’ve been there and feel for them. The most important thing?
Remember this conversation isn’t about you, it’s about them. Put yourself in their shoes.
Have a Little Faith
Trust your teen is capable and that they know the right thing to do.
Expressing to a teen that you have faith in them, makes them more likely to succeed, and builds trust between you, leading to better communication.
Learn to Let Go
Sure, teens need rules, but throwing your weight around only closes doors.
Discuss why you’ve set the boundaries you have. Make sure they’re part of the conversation.
Show Your Approval
Don’t forget to let your teen know you’re proud of them.
Remember, it takes quite a lot of praise to offset one statement of criticism, so don’t be afraid to give out well-earned compliments regularly.
Squelch Your Emotions
Nothing shuts down a conversation faster than a lot of negative emotion all at once.
When you’re grown up, it’s up to you to keep your feelings in check, stopping arguments before they can begin.
Being active together gives fodder for conversations with shared experiences as a jumping-off point.
As a bonus, time together creates closer family bonds, leading to better communication later.
Eat as a Family
When you eat together at the table, you give room for dinnertime conversations.
This is a great way to check in with your teens and see how they’re doing regularly.
Being able to talk to your teenager about what’s on their mind is crucial if you want to build a positive relationship into adulthood.
Take the time to learn the strategies that will keep you talking, even when things aren’t always going well.
Remember, the effort now has such a huge payoff later.
Be patient and if things don’t always go well, remember you can always try again tomorrow. You’ll get there. All you need are time and practice!