Teenagers are not all bad. They are in a very vulnerable stage of their life. Although they will never tell you, they are looking for support, care, and guidance from the adults close to them.
Adolescence is the transitional period from childhood into adulthood; a period of physical, cognitive, emotional, and social changes, that frequently result in confusion. During this period of self-discovery, it is extremely normal for teenagers to experiment with friendships, activities, substances, and sexuality.
To survive the teenage years, you need to have a strong relationship with your teen. Having effective communication is the foundation of a strong relationship, especially during this very important stage of your lives.
Here are some tips to effectively communicate with teenagers.
Keep it short.
Teenagers dread long chats with their parents and carers. Our teens dread big talks with parents. What would we know huh? But you can help them by keeping the time chatting short. Often a quick check-in is better than nothing. Let them know you are there for them and thinking of them. Keep to one topic at a time to ensure the conversation is remembered.
Sometimes, there may be a need to have longer conversations. Our tip is to warn your teen first that this will be happening.
Communicating with teenagers is a balancing game, so try not to tip that balance.
Do not give up on them.
What you are saying may not be what they want to hear right now. Some discussions need to occur in short increments depending on your teen or the topic.
Many topics are too extensive for just one conversation and can be overwhelming. This is exactly the reason we cannot give up on them. Communicating is the biggest challenge for parents of teenagers, so please keep trying!
Use your listening ears!
Teenagers often complain that their parents do not listen to them. We are often accused of lecturing or talking at them rather than listening to their side of the story. If you want your kids to talk to you, then you must listen.
Ask open-ended questions and talk about topics of interest like their friends. Ask, wait, listen. Give your teenager the opportunity to think about what they want to say in reply. If you sit in silence together, this is not an issue. But sometimes they may want to vent. You need to let them.
We really have no idea.
Yes, we remember our own teenage years but oh how times have changed since then! Teenagers of today have the added complication of social media and all that comes with these platforms to manage and control.
We recommend being empathetic and stay in frequent communication to help them through. Do not get too pushy as you may push them away altogether. If they are not in the mood for a chat, just try again later. Instead, tell them you love them, and you are here whenever they need you.
Teens love their space, but they must understand also they cannot shut us out altogether. There will be ups and downs you will all go through, and it is best to go through them together, rather than alone.
Remember to not give up. If a conversation does not go so great, apologize if needed, and move on. Try again later. Communicating with teenagers is THE key to your relationship!
Remember, your teen needs you now more than ever. Do not take offence to their moods or attitude. You have got this!
K.I.N (Kids in Need) Care Services (QLD)’s goal is for children and young people to live safely in a warm and caring home where their everyday needs are met. It is our belief that all children should feel loved, accepted, and a sense of belonging, not only with their immediate family, but also within their community.
We provide a range of in home family support services in QLD. We are a registered NDIS service provider servicing Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Ipswich, Toowoomba.
Address: PO Box 406, Margate Beach, QLD 4019
Phone: 0431 767 881