Parenting Information

5 Tips for Improving Communication With Your Teenager


Parents are always looking for ways to open up the communication with their teenagers. Here are 5 ideas that are all within your control. Some may represent an attitude shift, some are tactics you can apply; all have the potential to dramatically improve the communication between you and your teen.

1.) Stephen Covey has provided us with some of the best advice for improving all communication: "Seek first to understand, and then to be understood."* This is especially helpful to apply to your communication with your teens.

Parents have a tendency to react quickly sometimes, and this can work against your desires to improve communication. Your child comes home with "D" on a Spanish test. Before you jump too quickly, ask what happened. Your new driver is late for curfew. You are pacing and sick with worry. It's easy to jump down her throat when she comes in the door, even if you are relieved to see her. Listen to her first. Not only can you save face, she learns that you will listen to her and respect what she has to say.

2.)"Be there" despite rejection

Sometimes parents' feelings are hurt if it feels like their teenager is rejecting them. These dynamics may be a natural part of the process; as teens learn to stand on their own and develop a reliance on their own decisions, parents can feel a sense of rejection? and sometimes parents pout or turn away feeling as though they are not needed. But even through these hurt feelings we must continue to reach out to our kids. They are in the midst of dramatic developmental shifts, they are sometimes overwhelmed with the events, feelings, changes that are part of their life. Parents need to "be there" - reaching out, letting them know they are loved, no matter what. Don't misread their cues by minimizing your communication; continue to "be there" because they need you more than ever.

3.) Listen with your heart; trust your intuition

You trusted your intuition when your child was young. Remember that conversation with the doctor when you knew he had an ear infection even though the exam didn't show it? Parents of teenagers sometimes allow stereotypes about teenagers to carry more weight than their own intuition. Don't let this happen to you. Even though your teenager is changing, you still know him better than anybody else does. If your intuition tells you he's still a good kid, don't fall into the trap of distrusting him. If your intuition tells you something is wrong, take action and get help. You need to trust all your faculties and to develop the ability to "listen" on all available wave lengths.

4.) Go ahead and Negotiate - it's good!

It's perfectly appropriate for parents with teenagers to negotiate with them. Teens deserve the opportunity to have input into the rules that apply to them. As they mature the rules change, and their ability to negotiate gives you insight into your child's level of maturity. This is valuable information for you. You are also helping your teenager develop important life skills.

Negotiation is also good because it requires parents to examine the rules they are applying and to intentionally and thoughtfully change them as teens develop. This doesn't mean that you cave in to pressure or that you allow them freedom that doesn't feel right. But it does mean you discuss the rules and the reasons behind them.

5.) Sometimes indirect communication works best Not all teenagers can sit down for heart-to-heart talks. In fact, probably very few can. How do parents cover sensitive ground when kids won't stop long enough to even talk? Get comfortable with indirect communication. Write a note, a letter, an e-mail. Plan a short conversation when your teen is in the car with you. They listen to everything you say even if they don't look like it. You may need to give them time to absorb what you are saying without having to respond to you. Get used to indirect communication, it's often the most effective way with teens.

*Covey,Stephen, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

© 2004 Sue Blaney

Sue Blaney is the author of Please Stop the Rollercoaster! How Parents of Teenagers Can Smooth Out the Ride, a book/workbook/program that guides parents to examine the range of issues they are likely to face. For information on this unique and flexible resource visit our website http://www.PleaseStoptheRollercoaster.com

  


MORE RESOURCES:

Yahoo Parenting

Hilarious Reality Check for Couple Who Swear They Have 'Parenting All Figured Out'
Yahoo Parenting
The couple, based in Rochester, N.Y., have been blogging and sharing their parenting adventures — both fun and not so fun — on social media for more than a year now. Their video “Why Moms Get Nothing Done,” posted in February, has gotten more than 8 ...



POPSUGAR

This Hilarious Video of Parenting Expectations vs. Reality Will Remind You to ...
POPSUGAR
Way before your first pregnancy test shows two pink lines, you'll likely have an idea of how you're going to raise your child, what their personality is going to be like, and what you're going to do for them — like make organic baby food from scratch ...



CBS Local

Psychologist Shares Insights About Parenting & “Trophy Kids”
CBS Local
PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – Most parents want their children to succeed, but some parents take it too far when it comes to sports. Experts say these parents will push their children to the physical and mental limit, seeing their children as a ...



Huffington Post

How Different Parenting Styles Affect Children
Huffington Post
In my previous blog post, I shared some traits of four different parenting styles. Based on my years as a researcher and educator, with a Ph.D. in Psychology and Doctorate of Education, I've learned that each parenting style has the possibility of ...



WBTW - Myrtle Beach and Florence SC

Waccamaw Library in Georgetown County offers a Parenting Workshop
WBTW - Myrtle Beach and Florence SC
The Waccamaw Library will host Jim R. Rogers, nationally certified parenting and family life educator, as he explores how to build a parent/child relationship that can weather the challenges of childhood and beyond. Roger's workshop, on August 27th ...

and more »


Mashable

How to stop a baby from using a pacifier and other parenting lifehacks
Mashable
Comedy duo Tripp and Tyler of The Tripp and Tyler Show, formerly known as “Don't Be That Guy,” have a bunch of time-saving life hacks. In this episode, Tripp has some news...which leads to a conversation about dads and parents and parenting including ...



On Parenting: Meghan Leahy, Amy Joyce take questions about parenting
Washington Post
We've had a busy week at On Parenting. First off, Meghan's column about what to do when your kid drops the f-bomb (or other bomb). There was some incredibly interesting research out this week about how we're actually holding our own daughters (and ...



The Expectations Vs. The Reality Of Parenting, In One Spot-On Video
Huffington Post
The Expectations Vs. The Reality Of Parenting, In One Spot-On Video. There are some things you just can't learn from parenting books. Headshot of Caroline Bologna. Caroline Bologna Associate Editor, Voices, The Huffington Post. Posted: 07/29/2015 03:36 ...



The Stanford Daily

Former dean Julie Lythcott-Haims writes book on helicopter parenting
The Stanford Daily
Former Dean of Freshmen Julie Lythcott-Haims '89 wrote “How to Raise an Adult” to warn against “helicopter parenting,” or, as she put in her book trailer, “holding… hands too much, too hard, too often.” Lythcott-Haims uses her 10 years at the ...

and more »


Daily Record

Forget flashcards: Child expert urges intuitive parenting
Daily Record
NEW YORK – Parents should lose the flash cards, learning apps and other educational gadgets and strategies de jour, advises Stephen Camarata, a child development researcher and professor who thinks they need to rediscover their inner “parenting voice” ...

and more »

Google News

Article List | Index | Site Map
All logos, trademarks and articles on this site are property and copyright of their respective owner(s).
The comments are property of their posters, all the rest is Copyright © 2006 CanadaSEEK.com - All Rights Reserved.