Family Life

How To Talk With Your Teenager Without Going Bananas!

By on April 26, 2017
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How to speak with your teenage child.

Oh teenage years. Who doesn’t remember them? Depending on your personal experience, they were either one of the best periods of your life or your most horrible nightmare.

Most of the time, it will be fair to say that it is perhaps a mix of the two. I remember myself as a teenager and let me tell you, I was called “rebel” and “sergeant” for a pretty good darn reason.

In order for us to be able to communicate better with our teens, we need to understand all the changes they are experiencing on a daily basis.

Hormones are literally all over the place and they are having a very hard time controlling them, there are physical changes happening at the speed of light and mentally they are becoming more conscious about the way they look and their place in the world.

On top of everything else, the added pressure of school responsibilities, friends, family and the need to feel validated and accepted by their peers.

As a parent, you work very hard to ensure your teen has everything that he/she needs. I believe the number goal of any parent is for their child to be happy because when they’re happy, we are fulfilled.

You try your very best to communicate with your son or daughter but every time you attempt to do it, the communication turns sour very quickly, an argument erupts and both of you end up angry and frustrated with each other.

Are there ways to talk to your teenage son/daughter without arguing all the time or going crazy in the process? Yes, definitely!

I wrote this blog post with you in mind so I hope the following can help you improve your communication with your teenager. Remember, the key to success is consistency and a lot of patience.

LISTEN

As parents, we spend a significant amount of time talking to our children every day without realizing that part of effective communication is listening. Most of the time, teenagers don’t speak much to their parents because they’re afraid at the reaction they will receive.

Like most people, teenagers need to feel they are free to express their thoughts and feelings without being lectured or judged.

Talking for teenagers is a form of therapy, it is a way to release anxiety and stress so what they expect from you is just to be there, listen to what they have to say and receive your unconditional love and support.

If you show compassion and support to your teen every time they decide to share something with you, they will continue coming and share with you what is happening in their lives. Unless they specifically ask you for advise, just sit back and listen to what they have to say.

You will be amazed at how much they are willing to share with you. By the end of the conversation, always let them know they have your love and support.

SHOW INTEREST

If you wish to communicate better and develop a closer bond with your teenager, start by getting to know them more. No, I mean it. You might think you know them well but trust me, there are many things you still don’t know. Show genuine interest in their hobbies and activities, learn about the things they like to do.

Whether it is a game they like to play or the latest app on their phone, talk to them about the things they are interested in and you will be surprised at how quickly their demeanor changes and they become more relaxed and open.

parent teen

RESPECT

When we talk about respect, we usually talk about children respecting their parents but hardly we talk about parents respecting their children.

If you want to establish a closer relationship with your child, start by giving them the space they need to figure out their own problems or perhaps to calm down (if they are angry).

Sometimes all it takes is a couple of hours in their bedroom, alone where they meditate and learn how to control their emotions. It is not a good time to force them to talk or open their bedroom door and demand them to tell you what is going on.

The BEST approach for a teenager, is a calm and collected parent. You should never argue with your child because you are placing yourself at the same level.

When proper communication is established, it is clear who is the child and who is the parent. Having authority over our children, don’t make us dictators. It makes us leaders, guides and helpers.

LOVE

Just a four letter word and yet so powerful that can change hearts and lives. Love your child with all your heart and let them know how much you do.

Don’t take for granted that they know, show it! Children (no matter their age) need to hear those words, need to be hugged, need to given smiles and praise.

If they are not comfortable about doing this, write a letter instead and place it on their desk expressing how much they mean to you. A positive letter without any “buts” but simply focusing on all the positive aspects of your child. Show constant encouragement throughout difficult times, be their rock.

Raising teenagers is not an easy job so kudos to you! Please don’t ever feel discouraged, just continue trying your very best. Things are about to get better!

Do you have any other tips about how to communicate with teenagers? I am all ears!

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Sol Borde
Caribbean

Hello there! I am a down to earth health-enthusiast living in the Caribbean for many years. I love to share with others my passion for health, wellness and positive thinking. Please check my "About Me" page for more info. Can't wait to meet you! :)