How to Talk to Your Teen

Teenagers can be tough to read and communicate with, but with the right tools, parents can strengthen communication with their teen.

Mother Daughter Smiling - Teen RehabPhoto by J Jackson Foto

Be involved

There are ways to know what’s going on in your teen’s life—talk honestly and openly with them about school, friends, and other activities. Set clear and achievable expectations for them and share those expectations with your teen.

Parents Watching Sporting Event - Teen Rehab Photo by Spree2010

Encourage independence while being safe

It’s important for your teen to known you trust them, but make sure they know to be safe when you’re not around. Your teen also needs to feel safe and know their parents are just a phone call away when they are out with friends or at school. Work with them to establish a plan to keep everyone in the loop.

Athletic Whistle - Teen Rehab Photo by katerha

Keep communication positive

This means being respectful and listening when your teen is talking to you. Teens are going to test the limits with their parents, so it is important to find out the best way to talk to them in these situations, or any situation, for that matter, to keep the lines of communication open and honest.

Positive Vibes Hat - Teen Rehab Photo by gdiazfor

Notice their feelings

If you notice your teen is upset about something at school or a relationship with a friend, ask them about it, but don’t be pushy. They may not be ready to talk about it, but knowing you are there to listen opens the doors for when they are ready.

Yellow Volleyball - Teen Rehab Photo by FromSandToGlass

Give all your attention

When talking to your teen, give them your undivided attention. If the phone rings, or someone knocks at the door, leave it—what’s important is letting your kid know you’re there for them.

Blue Eye - Teen Rehab Photo by chefranden

Have a meal together

Mealtime is a perfect opportunity to start a family conversation. Not only does it provide a positive and supportive environment for your teen to share, but they also get to connect with their parents and siblings.

Family Eating Dinner - Teen Rehab Photo by Noodles and Beef

Be prepared for rejection

Sometimes a teenager just doesn’t want to talk to their parents and you need to realize when those moments are happening and accept it. The moment for talking will arise when necessary.

Spray Painted No - Teen Rehab Photo by marc falardeau


Feature Image: muratart /