Parenting My Teen

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Tips On Communicating With Your Teen

By: Aurelia Category: Parenting A Teen, Teen Emotional Health

All at once you may discover that you are at a loss for words when it comes to talking to your teen. Just a few years prior, they wanted a bedtime story or a comforting hug to feel that everything was alright. Well, they may decline the former, but the latter is still appreciated even if they say it is not. You just have to time it better during the teenage years.

But, that won’t get you out of the doghouse with your teen all the time. You will have to learn their language too. We’ll get into that in a second. First, here are some tips on how to simply talk to them.

 

Listen Actively

This is the number one way to communicate with them. Think about husbands and wives for a second. Wives can always tell when their husbands are not paying attention. It could be the glazing over of the eyes or even the fact that you are not looking at the person directly.

The same applies to you and a conversation with your teen. Conversations are going to get few and far between as they grow more independent of you. Treat each one as precious. Here’s how.

Make eye contact – Look your child in the face as they talk to you. What they have to say may not be earth-shattering but it is important to them.

Stop what you are doing – Conversations don’t always happen at convenient times. But, if you are reading the paper or watching a television show, put it down or turn off the set for a few moments and give them your undivided attention.

Resist the urge to form a response in your head – We’ve all done it before. As soon as the person who is talking to us begins speaking we feel we have the gist of what they are saying. So, we stop listening and concentrate on what we will say when they are finished. A telltale sign is that you begin to nod your head as if in agreement even if they are saying something that to them doesn’t deserve a nod.

Communicate what you heard – Sometimes what we hear is not exactly what is being said. When your teen finishes speaking, simply repeat back to them what you heard them say so that there is no miscommunication from the start.

 

Non-Verbal Communication

What you don’t say is just as important as what you do say. Kids and teenagers are quite astute. They can pick up on your emotional state from how you act. Use your non-verbal skills to put a positive spin on your talks with them.

Use open non-verbal gestures – When you sit and talk with your teen, keep your arms at your sides or on the arm of the chair. Avoid crossing your legs. Open gestures convey a willingness to listen. Also, try to avoid placing your hands on your hips if you are frustrated or pointing fingers at your teen.

Be mindful of your facial expression – It is easy to screw up your face when your teen says something that you don’t like. That sends the message to them that you have stopped listening to what they are saying or that they are not getting through to you. For example, if you were telling a friend that you were having plastic surgery and they frowned at you or furrowed their eyebrows, wouldn’t you stop talking? A disapproving look is just like saying “I don’t approve” with your mouth. Instead, try to smile when appropriate or keep your expression neutral. Resist the urge to roll your eyes also.

Make body contact – Teens are not averse to having their parents hug or touch them (except when friends are around). Sitting away from them can signify that you are standoffish about what they are saying. Sit next to them so that they know they have your attention and that you care. It provides security even though they may act like they don’t need it.

Keep a positive tone – When your voice drops an octave or two, kids get worried. Either it means that you are mad or not in the mood to talk. Use it sparingly though. Too much happiness in your voice can sound phony to them.

Mind the noises – This is a funny but serious one. Have you ever sucked your teeth or sighed heavily when your teen says that they want to talk. Before they even open their mouth they may turn and leave after a long sigh. Unconsciously, you could be pushing them away from you and towards the advice of their friends.

Be sure to check out Real Life Guidance Guide to Understanding Your Teen to grab some additional parenting help and help solve the mysteries in understanding your teen so that you can stay close as a family.

Tips on Communicating With Teens

By: Aurelia Category: Family, Parenting A Teen

All at once you may discover that you are at a loss for words when it comes to talking to your teen. Just a few years prior, they wanted a bedtime story or a comforting hug to feel that everything was alright. Well, they may decline the former, but the latter is still appreciated even if they say it is not. You just have to time it better during the teenage years.

But, that won’t get you out of the doghouse with your teen all the time. You will have to learn their language too. We’ll get into that in a second. First, here are some tips on how to simply talk to them. A word to parents: You will see a lot of tips in this eBook. They are meant to guide you in the right direction and help relieve anxiety for you.

Listen Actively

This is the number one way to communicate with them. Think about husbands and wives for a second. Wives can always tell when their husbands are not paying attention. It could be the glazing over of the eyes or even the fact that you are not looking at the person directly.

The same applies to you and a conversation with your teen. Conversations are going to get few and far between as they grow more independent of you. Treat each one as precious. Here’s how.

• Make eye contact – Look your child in the face as they talk to you. What they have to say may not be earth-shattering but it is important to them.

• Stop what you are doing – Conversations don’t always happen at convenient times. But, if you are reading the paper or watching a television show, put it down or turn off the set for a few moments and give them your undivided attention.

• Resist the urge to form a response in your head – We’ve all done it before. As soon as the person who is talking to us begins speaking we feel we have the gist of what they are saying. So, we stop listening and concentrate on what we will say when they are finished. A telltale sign is that you begin to nod your head as if in agreement even if they are saying something that to them doesn’t deserve a nod.

• Communicate what you heard – Sometimes what we hear is not exactly what is being said. When your teen finishes speaking, simply repeat back to them what you heard them say so that there is no miscommunication from the start.

Non-Verbal Communication

We touched on this one. What you don’t say is just as important as what you do say. Kids and teenagers are quite astute. They can pick up on your emotional state from how you act. Use your non-verbal skills to put a positive spin on your talks with them.

• Use open non-verbal gestures – When you sit and talk with your teen, keep your arms at your sides or on the arm of the chair. Avoid crossing your legs. Open gestures convey a willingness to listen. Also, try to avoid placing your hands on your hips if you are frustrated or pointing fingers at your teen.

• Be mindful of your facial expression – It is easy to screw up your face when your teen says something that you don’t like. That sends the message to them that you have stopped listening to what they are saying or that they are not getting through to you. For example, if you were telling a friend that you were having plastic surgery and they frowned at you or furrowed their eyebrows, wouldn’t you stop talking? A disapproving look is just like saying “I don’t approve” with your mouth. Instead, try to smile when appropriate or keep your expression neutral. Resist the urge to roll your eyes also.

• Make body contact – Teens are not averse to having their parents hug or touch them (except when friends are around). Sitting away from them can signify that you are standoffish about what they are saying. Sit next to them so that they know they have your attention and that you care. It provides security even though they may act like they don’t need it.

• Keep a positive tone – When your voice drops an octave or two, kids get worried. Either it means that you are mad or not in the mood to talk. Use it sparingly though. Too much happiness in your voice can sound phony to them.

• Mind the noises – This is a funny but serious one. Have you ever sucked your teeth or sighed heavily when your teen says that they want to talk. Before they even open their mouth they may turn and leave after a long sigh. Unconsciously, you could be pushing them away from you and towards the advice of their friends.

Start using these tips today with your teen and see how well it works for you.    Be sure to comment here and let us know how it goes.

Additional Resources For Parents of Teens

Real Life Guidance Guide to Understanding Your Teen This toolkit offers parenting help and help solve the mysteries in understanding your teen.

Real Life Guidance Report to Helping Your Teen With High School offers parenting help and shows you how to help your teen deal with the pressures of high school and also help them to be more independent!

The Art Of Communicating With Teens

By: Aurelia Category: Parenting A Teen

For anyone raising children, learning the art of communication with teenagers is an absolute necessity.

Many of us take good communication for granted and little thought is given to the effective use of communication and all the things this involves.

When it comes to our children, the art of communicating with teenagers is one skill that all parents should develop for a better relationship and happier teenager

The art of Good Communication – Things to Consider

As in good communication with our peers, the art lies not just in how you express yourself verbally, but also your body language and your listening skills, the latter of which is often left out when communicating with teenagers.

Some of us find it difficult to adjust our communication skills from that which is required when our children were in 3rd grade to the firm yet respectful communication that is required when they become teenagers.

Most of us will admit we don’t always get it right so here are a few simple tips on the art of communication with teenagers.

The Art of Communication with Teenagers – Are you Listening?

How many times have you been in conversation with your teenage son or daughter and realized that you’re note really listening? You start of well enough, and at the outset they have your full attention, but before you know it, your mind is elsewhere.

It is all too easy to say ‘I hear you’, but are you really listening – the two really are completely different things!

Your teenager deserves your full attention when communicating, in the same way you expect their full attention. The art of communication is a two way thing – so think about the message you are sending to your teen when it is clear to them they only have half your attention.

The Art of Communication with Teenagers – Validate Your Teens Feelings

When your teen comes home, hating their science teacher, their best friend, or the world in general what they don’t want to hear is ‘No you don’t’. Your teen is expressing a feeling which they need to have validated, not dismissed.

The art of communication with teenagers is allowing them to vent their emotions much in the same way that a counselor allows a client space and a listening ear when they present with a problem.

Try not to dismiss their feelings out of hand, allow your teen to share their feelings with you in their own way within the limits that you set as appropriate behavior.

The Art of Communication with Teenagers – Avoid Criticism

There is many a damaged adult walking around today with parental criticism from their childhood ringing in their ears.

If there is only one thing you take on board about the art of communicating with your teenager it is this – criticize your teens behavior but never your teen.

There is a whole world of difference between ‘what you did was very stupid’ and ‘you are stupid’.

Sentences beginning with ‘why’ or ‘you’ are more like to end up as critical statements that only serve to attack your teen and put them down.

Instead try to get your teen thinking about the consequences of their behavior and choose language aimed at provoking thought. Try to start sentences with ‘I need’, ‘When you’ ‘It makes me feel…’

The Art of Communication with Teenagers – Respect

In the same way that it is important to validate your teen, it is also important that you respect their thoughts, feelings, needs and desires.

By showing them respect, teaches them to respect themselves and in turn respect others. It also teaches them that they matter and have something to offer.

Teens respect boundaries. Be clear with your teen about what you expect from them and what they can expect from you. Ensure they understand there are consequences to their actions and when they go off track ensure the punishment fits the crime.

Don’t make threats you cannot keep.

And Finally…

Praise, Praise and More Praise

From childhood all the way through their teenage years and beyond, your child can never have enough
praise.

When you praise your teen your are nourishing their self worth and raising their self esteem which will in turn help them to grow into a confident adult sure of themselves and their ability to achieve the things they set out to do.

The art of communication with teenagers is a legacy you can pass on. The way you communicate with your teen will dictate the way they communicate with others.

Yes, it is possible to understand your teen.  Check out  Real Life Guidance To Understanding Your Teen and learn how.  

On all aspects of family life and more on parenting visit our website for a huge resource of articles, features and downloads and at http://www.net-planet.org/index.html