“…As parents we need to make a real effort to be engaged in our children’s lives.” Michelle Obama
Communication is something that we do every single day, and teens/tweens are constantly connecting with others, whether it’s in the form social-media connections, or gabbing on the phone about any and everything; these individuals are conversing in one fashion or another. Parents should make it a priority to be a principal individual on their teen’s social list to interactive with; however, this can be one of the most challenging tasks to tackle.
Many teens believe that adults are from Neptune, the furthest planet from Earth, and shun the idea of communicating with their parents. Nonetheless, it essential that parents break down that barrier and learn how to communicate effectively in order to prevent misunderstandings.
Here are some steps parents can take to create an effective communicative relationship with their teens.
1. Explain to your teenager that you too were once in their shoes. Although many parents may be reluctant to bring up their personal past, sharing stories with your teens about the time you did this or that, will show them that you do understand where they are coming from.
2. It’s very important that as teens mature, parents teach them listening skills, but it’s also essential that parents listen to their teens as well. If your teen is frustrated, confused, angry, or misunderstood, take time out to sit with your teen and simply listen. When teens are aware they can express themselves when needed, this will help them to establish confidence in parents. Also, express to your teen that you’ve heard everything they said by telling them you understand, and or asking question pertaining to the conversation.
3. Ask open-ended questions. These types of questions enable better conversation, and will require teens to answer in their own words. Instead of simply asking your teen how was school, with their response merely being good, inquiry about a particular subject or event. For example, what is the most funniest thing that happen today and what was the hardest question you had to answer on the science test, is likely to receive a long answer and can lead to the beginning of a conversation.
For more suggestions and ideas on how to communicate effectively with your teen post a comment.