Being a teenager can be confusing — it’s a time filled with significant changes, growth and uncertainty.
It’s easy to forget what that felt like. And this can impact your ability to communicate with your teen. Your world view is so different.
Here are a few tips that I found online that can perhaps help you to bridge the communication divide with your teenager.
- Always be a good listener – Put away your electronic device or other distractions and show you care by listening intently.
- Avoid assumptions or accusations – Hear the issue out completely and don’t assume or accuse. Let your teem explain whatever it is from his/her point of view. This shows respect.
- Stop judging – Start off your conversation by telling your teen you know that they had good reason for what doing what they did. Then let them explain.
- Treat your teen as a responsible person – Let them figure things out for themselves whenever possible. This will help them to learn to make their own decisions and come to you when they need assistance.
- Don’t react to their anger – If you get angry, it will just fuel the situation and will likely lead to a communication breakdown.
- Don’t criticize – Pick your battles. Harping on them too much will cause them to tune you out and ignore your opinions.
- Don’t pry – Everyone likes to have personal space so respect your teen’s privacy and don’t force him/her to disclose something. This will help to promote trust.
- Don’t reveal their secrets – Respect and protect the secrets they have shared with you.
And I would add one more – don’t belittle your teen in private or in public. This is demeaning and will lead to anger or withdrawal.
Wait a minute — did I suggest that these are communication tips for teens? They sound like good tips no matter how old the person is you are communicating with.