effective ways to communicate with teenagers
Communication between parents and teenagers is one of the most challenging struggles a family faces. Adolescents begin to experiment and find their own identities, while the parents have been there, though for many years ago. To add, the elders often fall into demanding respect and forcing the children to comply. On the other hand, the youth have had enough reprimands, humiliation, bribery, and even rewards. They cannot understand their father or mother’s point. These cause conflict between the two, and if not appropriately dealt, might cause a rift in their relationship.
Momi Berlin shares proven ways to bridge the communication gap between parents and teens. Cold treatment, slammed doors, and more arguments are not the solution.
Control your emotions
Often, we are driven by our emotions. We give wholeheartedly because we are happy, and cry tremendously because we are hurt. Emotions dictate our thoughts and often act based on our feelings giving our rational mind. Same with dealing with kids, mothers scream or curse instead because they have been disappointed. Teenagers interpret these adverse reactions as an attack, making them pull out or, worse, rebel against their parents.
Parents often say that they have been there. Please remember that teenagers are volatile as you have experienced being one yourself. Control your emotions when dealing with your teenage son or daughter. Your anger will lead only to more conflict and ruin your relationship with your kid or worse, your family.
Have a conversation
The purpose of communication is to repair conflict and dismiss misunderstanding. It is never to accuse or blame. In dealing with teenagers, use polite words and avoid lecturing your teens. Same with your gestures, avoid sharp looks and gestures that show you are ready for a confrontation. Most parents complain that their teenagers do not listen to them, but the truth is, they are the ones who do not listen.
Verbal communication is never a monologue. Engage your youth in dialogue and allow him to respond. He may have a good point, and it only takes your calm self to listen. Remember as well to stick to the issue. Your goal is to settle the problem and not to show who is in authority.
Keep talk short and simple
Going on and on to stress your point is not showing off cleverness or rightfulness. Long talks only satisfy your ego and may further hurt or turn off your child. Cut down on superficial chatter and stick to the issue. Go back to the time when you were a teen, and you hate your parents for talking long. A short and straightforward explanation is enough to stress your point.
Walk the talk
Sometimes, we parents give advice and yet we fail to be good examples. We need to be faithful to our words the same by showing real examples. Teaching our teens, to be honest, can easily be absorbed if we practice honesty at home. Same with telling our sons and daughters to put things in their proper places, for instance. Show them where the remote control should be placed after use. Perhaps they do not have an idea you put the remote control in that spot. Let them know and do not make such a small misunderstanding an issue. Giving them real examples or walking them through will help them understand the concern.
If, for instance, you have talked about helping with household chores first before browsing through Deviant Noise for his guitar tricks, and yet he does the latter, remind him gently. Avoid nagging or pressuring him. Most things take time. You may not see immediate results or sudden changes in your teen’s actions and words. It may take them hours, days, or even weeks to process what you’ve agreed upon. Give him space to reflect on the communication you had before bringing it up again.
Communicate with teenagers
Having conflicts with our youngsters is inevitable. It happens just like when we were teenagers. The tension between parents and teens, though, can be avoided. All we need is a tender heart to listen and set aside our controlling ways. Most teenagers have a point, but when parents started shouting, the former would either keep mum or answer back. Our mere showing off of our authority will only push them away. Parents are called as such to give love and affection, and not otherwise.
So the next time you have a conflict with your teenager, talk politely, and sincerely. Show them that you are an ally and not otherwise. Follow these tips, and perhaps you would enjoy a healthy relationship with your teens. They need your guidance more than anything else. You’ve been there yourself.