How To Communicate With Your Teenager
Does it feel like it is getting harder and harder to communicate with your teenager? Each time you ask them a question, the most you can get out them is "Fine" or "Whatever". Nothing can get your teenager to open up to you.
The teenage years are one of the most difficult years that parents have to go through. But it doesn't mean that you and your teenager can't be as close as before or communicate effectively. We share with you a few tips on how to communicate with your teenager below.
Listen to them
Teenagers don't open up when they are being asked direct questions. So try to create a casual environment in the space that your teenager is in. Share a funny story or joke that you heard that day. And see their response. More often than not, they will respond with a positive comment and let the conversation steer naturally from there. If they give a one-word response, don't be disheartened. Remain where you are and be in the same space as they are while reading a book or watching television. Eventually, they realise that the space that they are in is safe and comfortable, they will slowly open up to you.
Validate and respect their feelings and opinions
When your teenager is sharing his/her feelings or opinions, try your best to not be dismissive. The moment when you shut down their feelings and opinions, they will feel that what they have is of no value and they will not bother sharing with you ever again. Listen to what they have to say and their reasons. Ask them if they would be willing to hear your perspective. Share what you know and feel in an objective way. Look for solutions together, if they want or comfort them when they are feeling down.
You may think that your teenager is not bothered with praises or compliments. But they want or crave for praises and compliments. No matter how old you are, praises and compliments can make one's day. So when they achieve their goals or do well in something, praise them. If it is passing a major exam, go out and celebrate as a family.
Apologise when you did something wrong
If we want our children to do as we say, we need to set a good example. If we want them to apologise for the mistakes that they made, we need to be the first to apologise when we make mistakes of our own. Saying sorry will show our children that we are not above them in any way. That we are human beings too and that we make mistakes just like them. When they make mistakes, it is only right that they apologise as well.
Do things together
Go for walks, watch movies or cook together. Spend quality times doing things with your teenager. This creates wonderful memories for them and build a positive bond between you and your teenager.
With these tips, it is possible for you to communicate effectively with your teenager and maintain a close relationship with them.