Being able to communicate clearly with your teen is crucial in having a successful relationship and raising a healthy teen in today’s society. One of the biggest road blocks in communicating with teens is when one send “mixed” or unclear messages. Teens are sharp and will pick up on any inconsistencies that you as a parent exhibit and use them against you. Clear lines of communication develop a foundation for trust, foster a healthy self-esteem, encourages positive behavior and tone downs frustration and stress within the family.
Trying to have a meaningful conversation with your teens may seem impossible at times, there is a way to make it happen with some effort. Remember that your children are growing up, they still want to connect with you but also develop their own since of individualism. Here are some tips that parents can use to improve communication with their teen:
– Use active listening skills when communicating with your teen listen, show interest, and convey understanding. Be careful not to close the door on an opportunity to communicate by shutting your child out when they want to converse about an issue.
– Keep a positive tone and body language when you communicate with your teen to bring out positive behaviors, opinions, and ideas.
– Treat your teenager with respect. Because they are not an adult does not mean you should disrespect them or dismiss them as if they are not important.
– Yelling will never result in effective communicating with your teen, they will just shut you out. If necessary, take a “time-out” until you get yourself under better control.
– Be detailed on what you expect. Set clear boundaries with your teen about your expectations. If its necessary to write out and action plan or contract do so, so everyone knows what’s expected.
– Put instructions for teens in writing. If you expect x, y, and z to be completed before you return home, write it down, where they can review it and reference it when needed.
– Take out time for some one-on-one time with your teen, and make sure that they spend time involved in family activities that will create memories and opportunities for conversation.
– Model the behaviors you want to see present in your teen. They will emulate what they see you do.
– Don’t give your teen the silent treatment. If you need a moment or two to cool off before you speak with them, tell them that, but avoid the silent treatment.
– Being a parent you do have the final say so, but try to offer your teen an explanation within reason, besides “Because I said so”! They know you are the authority, but may be mature enough to follow your degree of reason and where your coming from.
Hopefully these 10 tips will help you to improve communication with your teen.