How to Talk to Your Teenager Without Arguing

How to Talk to Your Teenager Without Arguing

Most parents dread the day when their sweet little children become sullen, rebellious teenagers.

It can feel like you're suddenly dealing with a whole new person, and it's hard to know how to talk to them without getting into an argument.

But don't worry – you can still have a good relationship with your teenager, even if you disagree on certain things.

Here are some tips to help you communicate effectively and avoid conflict. 

Parenting Therapists in Colorado

Mackenzie Batson, LPCC

Mackenzie Batson, LPCC

(719) 345-2424
Shannon Hamm, LPC, CCTP

Shannon Hamm, LPC, CCTP

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Winnie Siwa, LPCC

Winnie Siwa, LPCC

(719) 345-2424
Melody Reynalds, LPC

Melody Reynalds, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Margot Bean, LCSW

Margot Bean, LCSW

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Holly Bradbury, LPC

Holly Bradbury, LPC

(719) 345-2424
Vanessa Curran, LPCC

Vanessa Curran, LPCC

(719) 345-2424
Melanie Klinke, MA, MFTC, LPCC

Melanie Klinke, MA, MFTC, LPCC

(719) 345-2424
Hailey Gloden, MA, LPC, NCC

Hailey Gloden, MA, LPC, NCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Stephanie Kol, LPCC

Stephanie Kol, LPCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 203-7021

Establish Rules and Expectations Early On

It's important to set clear boundaries from the start, so your teenager knows what is and isn't acceptable.

Sit down with them and discuss your expectations for their behavior, and make sure they understand the consequences if they don't meet those expectations. Some rules to consider are:

  • No yelling or name-calling
  • Respect each other's opinions
  • Take turns speaking and listening
  • Keep an open mind
  • Try to see things from their perspective

Be consistent with enforcing the rules, and avoid making exceptions for your teenager if other people in the family aren't held to the same standards. 

Talk Openly and Honestly

Encourage your teenager to come to you with any concerns or problems they have.

Let them know that you're open to hearing their side of things, even if you don't agree with them.

And be honest with them in return – avoid lecturing or lecturing, and instead give them the honest facts about why you feel a certain way.

Use "I" Statements

When discussing topics that could lead to conflict, try to focus on your own feelings and experiences rather than making assumptions or attacking them directly.

For example, instead of saying, "You never help with the housework," you might say, "I feel overwhelmed when I have to do all the housework by myself."

Respect Your Teenager's Opinions

Even if you don't agree with your teenager's opinions, it's important to respect their right to have those opinions. 

Ways to show you are respecting their opinion are:

  • Doing your best to understand where they are coming from
  • Listening without interrupting or arguing
  • Valuing their opinions as valid, even if you don't agree with them
  • Recognizing that they are more than just a reflection of you, and there may be things you disagree on but still love them deeply

Let them know that you may not always see eye-to-eye, but that doesn't mean you love or value them any less. 

This is an important perspective when learning how to talk to your teenager without arguing. 

Listen More than You Talk

One of the best ways to avoid conflict is to simply listen more than you talk.

This doesn't mean you agree with everything your teenager says, but it does mean that you're open to hearing them out and understanding their point of view.

Some tips for listening effectively are:

  • Put away any distractions, such as your phone or the TV
  • Give them your full attention
  • Make eye contact and avoid interrupting
  • Repeat back what you heard to make sure you understand
  • Ask questions if you're unclear about something
  • Resist the urge to offer advice or tell them what to do, and just let them know that you're listening and understanding their point of view.

Overall, communicating with your teenager can be challenging at times, but it's important to remember that conflict is a normal part of any relationship. 

Things to Avoid

Avoid yelling, name-calling, or other behaviors that can escalate the situation, and instead focus on being open, honest, and understanding.

With a little patience and effort, you can learn to talk to your teenager without arguing and maintain a positive relationship with them as they grow into adulthood.

Set Aside Time for One-on-One Talks 

Make an effort to spend some time alone with your teenager on a regular basis, even if it's just for a few minutes each day.

This can be a time for them to share anything that's on their mind, and for you to catch up on what's going on in their life. Some ways you can initiate this are:

  • Setting aside time on the weekend to go for a walk or have dinner together
  • Writing them a note or sending them an email just to check-in
  • Calling them up and asking if they want to hang out, even if it's not related to anything specific
  • Just taking a few minutes each day can help keep your relationship strong

It's also a good time to ask how they're feeling about things and to offer support or advice if needed.

Scheduling regular check-ins can help prevent problems from brewing and give you a chance to address any issues before they become major conflicts.

Deal with Difficult Topics Calmly and Patiently

When discussing difficult topics, it's important to keep your cool and remain calm.

Sometimes this will require taking a few deep breaths or stepping away from the situation for a moment.

Whatever you do, stay focused on the topic at hand rather than getting defensive or making accusations about their behavior.

By dealing with difficult topics calmly, you can avoid arguments and better communicate with your teenager. 

This is an important step when learning how to talk to your teenager without arguing.

Seek Outside Help if Necessary 

If you feel like your relationship with your teenager is becoming too difficult or unhealthy, it may be a good idea to seek outside help.

This could mean talking to a therapist or counselor, joining a support group for parents of teenagers, or simply implementing some changes at home.

Whatever you choose, remember that no matter how challenging things may be, you can always find ways to improve your relationship with your teenager.

With some effort, you can learn to communicate effectively and avoid arguments. 

In the end, this will make for a stronger, healthier relationship with your teenager.


The information in the post should only be used for informational purposes only. 

If you need help, please contact a licensed professional. 

They can give you the tools you need to help your communication.


While communicating effectively can sometimes be challenging, there are certain tips and strategies that you can use to talk to your teenager without arguing.

By following these tips, you can build a strong relationship with your teenager and maintain an open dialogue, even when you disagree on certain things.

And that's the key to successfully navigating those challenging teenage years.

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June 17th, 2024

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