How to Communicate With Your Teen

Listed below are several steps to help you communicate with your teen during times that it seems like an alien stole your child. 

 

Declaration of Independence

Adolescence is about struggle for identity and independence but the teen still needs to be reassured at home and conforming with their peers.  Teens may fight the leash that some parents have on them, while they also take comfort in it.  One suggestion is to lengthen the tether, but to stay involved and step in sooner rather than later when freedoms are abused. 

 

In the Heat of the Moment

During an argument it is suggested that the parent try to repeat what the teen is saying in a slow measured tone.  Hopefully, the teen will begin to listen at the speed your talking and feel validated. 

 

Help my teen is an alien!

Do not start with the common opening lines of "In my day" or "When I was your age..." the point is we do not know what it is like to be a teenager today.  None of us had the technology or ability to communicate at our fingertips the way todays teens do.  We also did not have the pressures that they face.  Therefore the best thing you can do as a parent is to look them in their eyes and listen.  Try to see the situation from their point of view. 

 

Be a parent, not a pal

Parenting is not a popularity contest.  Don't be afraid for your child not to like you for a time over words you say to them or rules you enforce.  Mix criticism with praise, be respectful, and do not dismiss your teen's feelings as silly or senseless.  

 

Let go of guilt

Parents of out-of-control teens are often put-down leading to them feeling guilty.  It should be okay to struggle as a parent.   Most parents are trying to do their best. 

 

 

 

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