Effectively Talking With Your Teen

Talking with your teenager can be extremely frustrating. While you may have had a great relationship when they were younger, during the teen years, parents notice that their child becomes distant and secretive. Effectively talking with your teenager is possible, however, with a little help and understanding.
Effectively Talking with Your Teen

Understand what your teenager is going through.

 During the teenage years these adolescents are faced with many challenges. They have a desired need to be autonomous, have more privacy, are dealing with physiological changes, and have a need to try different identities.

When parents see that their children are starting to pull away and develop their own life goals and identities, parents will often become worried and try to make rules and restrictions to keep their children close. Understand that while setting rules and limits is a good idea, teenagers need to feel a certain independence and be able to rely on themselves. Try to keep the lines of communication open so that they feel comfortable sharing their lives and struggles with you.

1. Be a good listener. Your teen may be reluctant to share her struggles with you, so when she makes an effort to reach out, listen and listen without judgment. Don’t try to fix the problem. Be sympathetic without being overbearing. Trying to take command of the situation is not the answer. Instead, be there to provide support and offer help when needed. Avoid lecturing and nagging at all costs.

2. Respect her privacy. Parents often try to listen on their teenager’s phone calls and not allow them to close their bedroom doors. Let your teen have her privacy. This is important to her development and will help to keep the lines of communication open.

3. Encouraging positive behavior. If your child follows curfew, has good grades, and is generally respectful, let her start to make more of her decisions. On the other side, if your teenager starts to break curfew and be irresponsible, make sure that there are defined consequences. If your teen knows that breaking curfew will result in a curfew moving up an hour, she will probably only do that once or twice. However, when she begins to follow the rules again, ease up.

4. Admit when you are wrong. Chances are, you’re going to become angry and make a bad decision when talking to your teenager. Recognize this and make a point of apologizing. This will teach your teenager that you can admit to making mistakes and will make them feel much more comfortable sharing their own shortcomings.

5. Accept your teenager. Teenagers often feel as though their parents do not understand or accept them. Even if you don’t understand their choices, make sure that they are aware you love them and are willing to hear whatever they have to say. Tell your teen as long as she is willing to respectfully convey her feelings, you are always willing to listen.

These five tips can be helpful for knowing how to effectively talk to your teen.

While communicating will take time, keep these principles in mind for better conversations and a better relationship.

Parents, if you have a teenager that you would like to communicate better with, please sign up for a 15-minute Complimentary Discovery Session with me where I can help you break down some of your biggest obstacles.  Please take a moment and sign up for your free session here: http://meetme.so/DebraBeck

This is my PERSONAL calendar, so please take advantage.  I look forward to talking to you soon!

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©2007-2011 Debra Beck, EmpoweredTeensandParents.com

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Teen and parenting mentor Debra Beck, who has spent over 20 years working with teens and parents, is a devoted mother, sought-after presenter, and author. She now runs her popular website,  EmpoweredTeensandParents.com, publishes the “Empowered Teens and Parents” newsletter, encourages girls to be the best “young women” possible, and gives moms and dads the understanding they need to help their girls mature with pride and confidence.  Debra has helped thousands of teenage girls with their self-esteem.  Her award-winning book, “My Feet Aren’t Ugly: A Girl’s Guide to Loving Herself From The Inside Out”, has been revised and updated for re-release in September 2011 with Beaufort Books.

1 Comment

  1. Great tips! I’m experiencing this right now, as a mom of three teen girls (and a blogger about it too!) I have one that we experience a VeRY difficult time communicating. I would add “don’t give up” to that list. Lord knows I’ve wanted to, but I can’t. (and really don’t want to, but it’s exhausting when you’re in the middle of it, as we all know!) There always seems to be an eventual breakthrough. Thanks for your site and insight!

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