How to communicate with your teenager?
You might know the situation, you just came back from work and want to talk to your kid, but all you get back is a short, maybe even a rude reply. How should you react to such a situation? It is, of course, easy to reply in the same way, but it is better to stay calm and let him/her be. Just think about the fact that your child is going through the difficult time of being a teenager.
Teens find it challenging to control their emotions.
Teens are also keen on finding the boundaries to things in life. At this age, they even start to make decisions that have real and severe consequences like substance use and sex.
All of this makes it very important to have an excellent and trusting relationship with your teen. With these nine easy steps, you will be able to improve your relationship with them.
If you want to know what is going on the life of your teens life it is better to not ask them directly as this will prove to be more difficult then just sitting back and listening to what your teen has to say about their day. Kids are more likely to open up to their parents when they don’t feel forced to do so. If he says something small about his day at the dinner is that his way of reaching out to you, and he is more likely to tell more if you stay interested and keep listening.
2 validate their feelings
It is often natural to try and solve all the problems your teen has or downplay their disappointment for example “she was not the one for you” after a breakup can feel as dismissive and will only make him only sadder. It is better to validate their feelings by saying “oh that is so difficult you will get trough this” this will make him feel acknowledged.
3 Show trust
Teens want to be taken seriously especially by there parents. Look for ways to show your teen that you trust him with important tasks. If you do this enough he will start to take initiative and even ask if there is anything he can do to help as it makes him feel better. This is an great confidence boost every teen needs at this age.
4 Don’t be a dictator
This does not mean you shouldn’t have rules the opposite even. The only big difference is that you have to be able to explain you rules to your teen. Like you should convince him that parties on a school night isn’t the smartest idea. This will make him think and come to his censes and this way you avoid an angry teen who is mad at you because you ruined his night.
5 Give praise
Parents tend to praise their kid a lot when he is still young but teens need the same amount of praise as when they were young. It might not look like your teen wants complements from their parents but they will be happy when they get one. It is very normal for teens to want the approval of their parents so if you give him that approval his day will be better.
6 Control your emotions
Your mood can easily flare up if your child is rude, but don’t respond in the same way. Remember that you are the adult, and he is less able to control his emotions or think logically when he is angry. count to ten and take an deep breath before answering. If both of you are too upset to speak, press pause until you have had a chance to calm down.
7 Do things together
Talking isn’t the only way to connect with your teenager. In recent years it’s great to be able to spend time doing things that you both enjoy, whether it’s cooking, going for a walk or walking in the cinema without talking about anything personal. . children need to know that they can be around you and share positive experiences without worrying about asking intrusive questions or calling them about anything.
8. Share regular meals
Sitting down to eat as a family is another great way to bond. Discussions during dinner give each family member an opportunity to sign up and talk informally about sports, television, or politics. Children who enjoy talking to their parents about everyday things are also more open when more difficult things come up. One rule: telephones are not allowed.
9. Be observant
It is normal for teens to experience changes as they grow, but be very careful if you notice changes in mood, behaviour, energy level, or appetite. Also see if he stops wanting to do things that make him happy or if you find him isolated. If you notice a change in your teen’s daily functioning, you can ask for information and be supportive (without judgment). You may need their help, and it could be a sign that you need to talk to a mental health professional, or you can get one of our e-books on depression.