Communicating with Teens

Parenting is difficult, but it can be especially hard when you are having trouble communicating with your teenager. While you may feel as though you are being perfectly clear when conveying your thoughts and feelings, your teen may not understand what you mean. You may need to explain yourself a bit better in order for you and your teenager to communicate well. Here are some tips that will help you and your child express yourselves more clearly so that there is less room for misinterpretation or misunderstandings.

Honor Your Word

When you tell your teen that you will do something, you need to make sure that you follow through on your promise. It may take some extra work and reminders on your part, but you need to show your child that you love and respect him. If you consistently break your promises or do not keep your commitments, it can lead your child to think that you don’t care enough to make him a priority.

parents and teens
Be Kind and Thoughtful

If you want your teen to be thoughtful and considerate, then you need to teach him those traits. Start by listening to what your child says about your relationship with each other. If he believes that you never listen or never offer help, then those are the areas that need your focus. You can also do small things throughout the day to show him that you love him, such as comforting him when he struggles and offering encouragement when he needs it most. When you demonstrate small acts of kindness, your child will begin to see that he is important to you and that you care about him.

Be Clear About Your Expectations

When you tell your teen to do something, you need to be clear about what you expect. If you tell him that you want him to improve his math grades, set some realistic goals that he can achieve. If you want to teach him to be more responsible, explain to him what he might do to show responsibility. When you offer a clearer picture of how you want your teen to behave, he has a better idea of what you expect. This is also true of when your teen has expectations of you. If he wants your help when he does his math homework, he needs to explain exactly how he wants you to help. If he wants you to be fair in the rules that you set, he should be able to explain what he thinks would be fair boundaries. By making terms concrete, you will both have a better understanding of the other’s expectations.

If you are having trouble communicating with your teenager, try these simple tips. You may find that the two of you can open up and have an enlightening discussion that will allow you to grow closer to each other.


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