Talking to teens is like banging your head against a wall! But you can’t blame teenagers alone. How they perceive situations, and how they react is vastly different from you (1). Your teen and you could as well be living on different planets.
But this difference makes communication between parents and teenagers a battle. Do we see you nodding your head along? Have you too experienced the ‘silent’ treatment from your teenager? Well, then it is time to overhaul how you communicate with your adolescent. It is time to learn a few tricks to make communication with your sulky teen a little easier.
Tips On How To Talk To Teens:
If you ask your teen to do a chore, does she slam the door in response? When you try talking to her, does she tend to sneer, roll her eyes, or give you the silent treatment? Well, don’t take it personally. Most teenagers feel contempt for their parents and react offensively (2). If you then go on to give her an earful, the vicious cycle will continue.
Here are some tips on how to communicate with teenagers, that will help you set your communication channels right with your teenager:
Tip#1: Listen Without Judging:
Do you ever listen to your teenager? Most of the time, it is you who rants at her. For a change, lend a patient ear and let your teen pour out her heart. Please understand that your teenager is as bewildered as you at the changes taking place in her life. So, let her unburden her soul. If you interrupt and pass a judgmental comment, be sure she’ll never share her feeling with you again
[ Read: How To Deal With Your Teenage Son ]
Tip#2: Don’t Lecture:
Don’t lecture. Don’t nag. It just won’t work. Your teen will simply block you out. If you need to say something to her, simply state it and walk away. Don’t keep at it. You’ll end up wasting your time and energy while your teen gives you a deaf ear. If you want to offer advice, do so kindly.
Yes, you are entitled to know all that’s happening in your child’s life. Do ask questions. But don’t grill her. Remember, to watch your tone. Stay calm. If you become aggressive, your teen will also retaliate, and your communication gap will widen further.
Tip#3: Take The Pressure Off:
You might think sitting down with your teen to ‘talk’ is a good idea. It may work at times, but not always. Your teenager may come under stress in these situations. So, take the pressure off. Strike a friendly banter while you are doing chores together. Avoid eye contact, your teen may lower her guard and open up with you.
Tip#4: Spend Time With Your Teen:
Your teen needs you too. So, make some alone time for her. If you have a younger kid, get a babysitter or ask your partner to look after her while you spend some quality time with your teenager. Plan your day out together. If you buy tickets for a classical symphony while your teen wants to go for a rock concert, the night will end in disaster!
[ Read: How To Manage Teenage Behaviour ]
Tip#5: Make TV A Talking Point:
Make time spent watching TV, a perfect time for family bonding. Discuss TV shows to break the ice with your teen. It is an easy way to reach out to your teenager.
Tip#6: Consult Your Teen:
Whenever possible, take your teen’s opinion. Make her feel like she is in control of her life. She has opinions – let her express them.
Tip#7: Develop Interest In Teenage Stuff:
Does your teen spend hours texting? Texting is the favorite mode of communication for most teens (3). It may be time for you to start texting too! Ask for help. You can use this base to start communicating with your teen in her language. Try to learn more about things that interest your teen – sports, technology, video games – they may not appeal to you, but can work wonders for your relation.
[ Read: How To Motivate Your Teen ]
Tip#8: Have Some Kind Words For Your Teen:
Your teen may not say it, but she still needs your approval. So praise her when you can. It may be the springboard to take your relation to a different level. But don’t overdo it. Don’t be all cuddly in front of her friends. It will just embarrass her!
Tip#9: Respect Her Privacy:
For your teen, nothing is more important than privacy. So, you might be itching to check your teen’s text messages or internet activity, but don’t. You need to trust both your teenager and your parenting skills. Yes, she’ll make a few mistakes and learn from it, all teens do that. So, don’t snoop around your teen’s room!
[ Read: 6 Ways To Help Your Teen Make Smart Decisions ]
Tip#10: Spend Time Together As Family:
Spend some quality time together as a family. And make it comfortable. Don’t grill your teen, ask about grades or her love life. It is an opportunity to bond as a family. Your teenager needs some space to cool off too. Your family time will give her the perfect refuge.
If you follow these tips, chances are high that your communication with your teen will improve by a mile. But if nothing seems to work, seek counseling, as a family. Sometimes, teens can indulge in behavior that can harm them. Before the situations turn that bad, take corrective measures. She may have become a teenager, but there’s still time before she is ready to face the world alone. So, you need to be by her side, whenever she needs you.
How is the communication between your teen and you? Have you tried any of the tips on how to talk to teens mentioned here? Did they work? Tell us in the comments section below.
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