Communicating with your kids can be a difficult thing–especially when they are teenagers. With all the serious issues facing teenagers today, you absolutely need to be communicating and helping your teen navigate through these issues instead of ignoring things. How do you keep the communication lines open? Let’s learn How To Talk So Your Teen Will Listen:
Listen More, Talk Less
I have often heard it said that we have 2 ears and only one mouth for a reason! In other words, you should listen more than you should speak. This is definitely true when you are communicating with your teen or teens. Listen to what they are saying.
Don’t Preach or Judge
The quickest way to shut down the lines of communication with your teen is to say something along the lines of “well that was stupid!”. Refrain from making condescending comments as much as possible–even though it might be tempting at times.
Make The Time to Take The Time
Communicating takes time. It is important that you make time in your busy schedule to talk to your teen. Sure, there will be days when it is tempting to sit behind a computer screen or sit on the couch and watch television instead of talking. Make sure that this doesn’t become a regular habit.
Work On Your Relationship
If you and your teen have a good relationship, then chances are that your communication problems will be minimal. Teens are more likely to talk and to listen to adults that they know and trust. On the other hand, if you and your teen have a poor relationship, take the steps necessary to change things.
Family Friends Can Help
Teens will often speak about personal issues to other adults instead of their own parents. Instead of getting upset about this fact, talk to your children about safe adults that they can go to when they have a problem. For example, my teens know that they can go to several of my friends if they have an issue they don‘t want to discuss with me. This is a positive thing!
If you and your teen continue to have problems despite your best efforts, you might want to consider going to counseling either by yourself or with your teen in order to improve your relationship and your communication skills. For more information on finding a therapist in your area with expertise on communication issues, talk to your family doctor.