The stress teenagers face in our society today can be quite overwhelming at times so it’s important as parents to have open communication with your child. Attempting to engage in conversation with your teen, however, can be quite difficult. Here are 5 ways to effectively communicate with your teen.
- Ask open-ended questions. Avoid one word answers by asking questions, such as “so tell me about your day today.”
- Remove distractions like cell phones and tablets. Provide opportunities, such as at dinner time or in the car, for open communication. Make sure there are no interruptions by removing or turning off cell phones and tablets.
- Keep lectures short and sweet. No teen I know wants to hear a long lecture and will eventually tune you out if it’s too long so make sure your lectures are concise. Also, teens are more likely to listen to you when you speak in a calm manner. Yelling is also another reason to tune you out.
- Use current events as openers to important topics. If you need to speak to your teen about a serious matter, use an incident you read about or saw on the news as a way to introduce the subject. A situation regarding one of his or her friends or involving one of your friends or a family member is also another way to help break the ice.
- Whether it’s good or bad, let your teen know he/she can talk to you about anything. Reassure your child that you will always be there for him/her no matter how serious the situation may be. Knowing that he/she can come to you helps to build trust between you and your teen.
The guidance and advice you give as a parent can be crucial to your teen’s life. It’s also important that you know what’s going on with your child. Effective communication can help you connect on a more intimate level. If you and your teenager are having trouble communicating, we can help by providing individual, as well as family therapy. Give us a call at (954) 832-3602. We are located in Hollywood, Florida.
Alicia Emamdee is the author of the YA Romance novel, “Aloha Self-Esteem?” which is created specifically for teen girls and the challenges they face with regards to their self-esteem in our society today. Written as a love story, the book provides ways to help increase self-esteem and gain self-confidence.