How To Communicate Better With Teenagers

teenage girl sitting on the ground wearing converse shoes

You may already have a teenager in your home, or one of your children is coming to the age at which the teenage years begin. But communication can often be difficult, so here are a few tips on helping improve that dialogue between yourself and your teen.

Remember They're Not A Child Anymore
The most important thing to remember is that they're not children anymore, which is tough for any parent to come to terms with. You want your children to stay young forever, but unfortunately, that's not the case as they begin to learn more about the world they live in and grow because of it. So that means that you need to change how you speak to them as they are somewhat of an adult now and therefore need to be treated like one. Of course, if you have rules in your home like curfew times and how much time they spend on their laptop or gaming console, then stick by them. They need to maintain their respect and learn how to be respectful of others.

Give Them Some Space
Teenagers can be fiercely independent, and for a parent, that can be a hard pill to swallow. You've spent many years doing everything for them and now they may not want to spend as much time with the family unit in general. It's important to give them some space at this point because if you don't then to them, it’ll feel suffocating. You can still show love and affection, it just might be better if you think about the environment you're in and who you're around. A kiss on the cheek may be met with some distaste if you're about to do it with all their friends around. Focus on their body language and when they need that alone time, give it to them, and they’ll come to you when they need you.

Talk About Things That Matter Wisely
When talking about the serious stuff, it's good to pick your opportunities wisely. As a teenager, this period of life can be quite a challenging one. They're still trying to figure out where they fit in and who they get on with. There are also exams to factor in, and you may want to share tips to help school students with stress. However, this advice might not always be taken with thanks, so it's good to talk about these things at the right time. This is usually best done when they're in a good mood or when you're doing something that they enjoy. They won't likely be as defensive or standoffish if in an environment where they're happy. Trying to do it in the car on the way back from school may not be ideal after just coming out of the environment and not giving them an opportunity to leave because they're in a moving vehicle. So pick your timing wisely!

Being a teenager is something we've all gone through and it’s different for each person and every generation. So be patient as a parent, and they’ll get through it both with your help and on their own. 

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