Teenagers can be tough to read and communicate with, but with the right tools, parents can strengthen communication with their teen.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Feature Image: muratart / Shutterstock.com