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:

ABC News

NYC Life Coach Debuts Conscious Parenting Advice by the Hour
ABC News
Enter Melanie Rudnick, a New York City-based "conscious parenting" coach who charges $150 per hour for her advice, though she does offer package discounts. She wants moms to know that just because they think something doesn't make it true.



Gay parenting
The Register-Guard
Rebecca Hagerwaite, left, plays with her daughter, Coral, as Kristy Hagerwaite, plays with Riley, 3, in Eugene on Tuesday, October 21, 2014. The Hagerwaites were part of Parenting Now! It is adapting its parenting curricula to be especially useful to ...



The Embarrassing American Parenting Fail
RealClearPolitics
When it comes to public image, the millennial generation isn't exactly knocking the cover off the ball. Just Google something like “Millennials are the worst” and you'll see headlines labeling the 14-34 age demographic as “deluded narcissists ...



People Magazine

Jimmy Kimmel Says Bill Murray's Parenting Advice Is 'Right On!'
Huffington Post
The actor's parenting advice isn't limited to delivery room tips though. During his "Jimmy Kimmel Live" appearance he also talked about tricks for getting babies to sleep, including pumping their arms and legs to tire them out and letting them suck ...
Bill Murray Gave Jimmy Kimmel Some Very Helpful Parenting AdviceUproxx
Bill Murray Talks Birthing Babies with Jimmy KimmelIFC

all 66 news articles »


9 tips to survival parenting
Deseret News
One of the biggest challenges of parenting is the loss of control. Your time and your schedule are no longer your own. However, the most successful parents embrace the ambiguity while ultimately remembering they are still in charge. They need to be ...



The 7 Worst Parenting Mistakes Ever
Charisma News
Like the Ebola virus, bad parenting seems to be spreading—and the church is not immune. We had better get busy teaching Christian parents how to raise their kids the old-fashioned way, because recent trends are scary. I made a list of some of the most ...



Parade

Mindful Parenting for Busy Parents
Parade
“Mindful parenting is about making a choice, over and over again, to pay attention to whatever is happening in the present moment without judging it or wishing it was different,” writes Naumburg. Stop. Read that again. Because that is deeply liberating ...

and more »


On Parenting: Meghan Leahy and Amy Joyce took questions about parenting
Washington Post
Amy Joyce has been at The Post, well, for a long time. Her first foray in to online chats were related to work. Now she's happy to chat about fun (but would like to believe the two can be one). She has been a Business reporter, editor for Weekend and ...



Today.com

'No rescue' parenting is the anti-helicopter
Today.com
“A popular expression in parenting education circles is: 'A child who always forgets has a parent who always remembers.' If we rescue kids from their repeated forgetfulness, we rob them of the opportunity to take personal responsibility and learn from ...



In praise of middle-of-the-road parenting
Washington Post
Since the book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother debuted in 2011, parents have been living in fear that they're not doing enough to ensure their children's success. Meanwhile, those against micromanaging their kids' every move are increasingly criticized ...


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.