5 Tips to Improve Communication With Teens

5 Tips to Improve Communication With Teens

The teenage years constitute a period of growth and independence where teens begin to pull away from parents and make decisions on issues with real consequences, making concerned parents desire tips to improve communication with teens.

As a great parent, you can allow your teens some independence while keeping a watchful eye on their behavioral or mood changes, ensuring that you ask them about the changes and stay supportive during the ensuing conversation.

Another tip to practice is to control your emotions during moments of rebellion or rudeness from your teenagers, remembering that you are the emotionally mature adult and that flaring up may cause your teen to hide their emotions from you.

Similarly, you can improve communication with teens by showing them trust and taking them seriously by asking them for favors to show you rely on them or informing them of your faith in their abilities to perform a task.

Listening to them can also help because teens are more likely to share information when they don’t feel the need to provide it; thus, when you sit back, wait for them to speak, and actively listen, you can communicate better with them.

You can use any of these tips to improve communication with teens:

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Be Observant 

Becoming more perceptive of their habits is a great way to improve communication with teens because it promotes positive interaction with them and allows you always to have something to say.

To properly observe your teen, it’s essential that you avoid distractions and focus entirely on them, enabling you to give them undivided attention when they are trying to do something. 

When you watch them, try to do so without interacting, making sure to see how they interact with people and items, how they make decisions, how they deal with their emotions, and how they react to situations.

Also, try to observe with all your senses because teens won’t use cries to communicate as they did in their infancy; instead, they’ll use their words, limb movements, and facial expressions.

It may be challenging to remember all the observed data; thus, you can record what they do and say to properly analyze your teen’s interests and character traits and figure out the best ways to communicate with them.

Control Yourself 

The rebellious nature of teens can be frustrating and may cause you to lash out emotionally, but as a great parent, you must rein in your emotions to improve communication with teens.

As difficult as it may be when your teen is slamming doors, you have to calm down to defuse the situation because yelling at them may escalate matters and prevent you from helping them deal with their immediate feelings.

Similarly, control your reactions to their stories; it’s not time to judge them when they tell you about an altercation at school; instead, it’s time to listen and positively give advice.

You can also try to control your instinctual response to minimize their emotions about issues you consider “small”; their perspective on life is different, and they have anxiety about numerous things that they don’t want to be minimized.

Controlling your emotions allows you to be their role model because they can see how you deal with troubling emotions, which creates a higher likelihood of them adopting your style.

Show Them Trust 

You may begin to trust teens less due to their rebellious decisions, but this will only reduce communication, unlike you showing trust to improve communication with teens. 

An excellent way to show your teen your trust in them is by letting them go alone to sports events, school trips, and hangouts because it allows them to gain independent experiences while coming back home to a safe space.

Also, you can show you trust them by not pushing to help them when they have minor problems and have told you they can work things out alone; you simply have to let them build confidence in themselves.

As crucial as their success is to you, allow them some leeway in making their college, extracurricular, summer jobs, and sports decisions because making all the decisions can reduce their desire to share things with you. 

An equally important aspect of showing trust is respecting their privacy on their phones, backpackers, and rooms, preventing them from feeling trapped and looking for external communication channels. 

Listen to Them

Generally, teens have a lot to say because they are only beginning to become emotionally aware, and when you actively listen to these talks, it’s a sure way to improve communication with teens.

When they begin to tell you things about their day or past events, give them your total attention by getting close to them, using eye contact and body language to show you are listening, and turning off distractions.

During the conversation, ensure that you let them talk without interrupting their line of thought with judgmental words, allowing them to concentrate on what they are saying without thinking about how not to offend you.

Furthermore, show them your interest in their talk by nodding your head during the conversation, injecting exclamation marks and compliments, and asking them to continue talking whenever they pause.

When they are done talking, give them a summary of what they said to show you paid attention, ask questions to clarify some things, make positive comments, and provide advice if there are some negative things.

Shower Praises on Them

An easy way to improve communication with teens is to shower sincere praise on them in deserving moments, making yourself a comfort zone for them and showing them you appreciate them and their efforts.

When praising them, try to compliment particular aspects of what they did, like their courage in carrying out the task, and not just generic praise that compliments the whole activity and may seem insincere to them.

If they think your praise is insincere, they will dismiss it, thus rendering it ineffective at getting them to communicate with you since they don’t believe your words anymore.

However, be cautious when giving praise to avoid comparing them to others because it may cause them to develop a constant competitive streak that won’t allow them to properly handle situations where someone else outperforms them.

Conclusion

Despite the frustration that accompanies parenting teenagers, you can find it rewarding because they are in their formative years, and your teachings will guide them through their entire lives.

To get the opportunity to teach them, you can improve communication with teens by being observant, controlling your emotions, showing them, listening to them, and showering them with praises.

Resources 

https://www.crosswalk.com/family/parenting/ways-to-become-a-more-observant-mom.html

https://www.connectionsacademy.com/support/resources/article/9-tips-for-dealing-with-teen-emotions

https://www.beliefnet.com/love-family/parenting/4-ways-to-show-a-teenager-you-trust-them.aspx

https://www.gottman.com/blog/tips-for-communicating-with-your-teen/

https://raisingchildren.net.au/pre-teens/communicating-relationships/communicating/active-listening

https://biglifejournal.com/blogs/blog/praise

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May 17th, 2022

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