The question of how to talk to teens is essential for many parents. After all, teenagers are no longer children, but they aren’t adults either. How to connect with them, come to an agreement, and bring up real personalities?
They are uncontrollable, self-centered, and disregard for generally accepted rules. Sometimes it seems that adolescents are deliberately trying to piss us off. That’s true — from the point of view of an adult. But looking at the situation through growing children’s eyes, we will see a completely different picture. And maybe this is the only way we can understand each other and come to an agreement.
Why is it difficult to talk to teens? Puberty is a rather stressful period in the life of any person. The teenager may be tired, offended, upset, or has his problems — a bad mark, a failed test, a quarrel with friends. Just believe, an adolescent can have many reasons to be upset at the age of 15. Then there is absolutely no desire to communicate with anyone. They want to cope with that themselves, only then start talking.
In this case, the parents should be close and supportive. Lacking parents’ attention and understanding, numerous adolescents often seek solace in the use of illegal substances, alcohol, or drugs. We spoke with Profound Addiction addiction treatment program in Los Angeles and they gave us some helpful tips. Let’s get right into it so we can learn how to talk to teenagers so that peace and harmony reign in your family.
So that no problems arise in day-to-day communication, a child and all family members need to establish a law — respect each other. Don’t be rude, don’t interrupt, don’t get into someone else’s conversation. This rule is quite simple to follow, and it will become easier and more pleasant to communicate. And you don’t have to make comments to each other.
It’s also essential to respect this rule by both parties. That is, you can’t interrupt a child’s conversation with a friend by your sudden entrance into his room, just as a teenager shouldn’t distract you from a phone call.
Listening to the child, let him experience and feel that you understand his state, feelings associated with the situation he is telling you about. To do this, it’s enough to listen, and then repeat what he told you in your own words. You will kill three birds with one stone: your child will make sure that you hear him; the child will be able to hear himself as if from the outside; the child will make sure that you understand him correctly.
If you are very irritated and exhausted, you shouldn’t start a conversation. Your irritation, aggression will instantly be passed on to your child, and he will no longer listen to you. This situation occurs due to the psychological features of this age and emotional instability, largely due to hormonal changes in the teen’s body.
Help teenagers set realistic goals. If they or their parents expect too much, failure can be destructive to their personality. Your child should know that his achievements, even if they are objectively not so great in comparison with others, will cause you the same pride and admiration as the highest achievements and victories.
So that your words don’t fall on deaf ears, mix the rules and instructions with requests to give you advice. For instance, what to wear to a corporate party, what movie to watch, what color to paint the walls, and so on.
Even though you still fully pay for a teenager’s expenses, he already feels like an adult. But this can be used for good: let him take responsibility, solve everyday issues and tasks, or learn to make the right choice. By strengthening the idea that he is no longer a child, you will give your teen new incentives.
When talking to your teen, speak less, not more. In this case, you are more likely to be understood and heard. Why? That’s because children need more time to comprehend what they have heard before they can respond. Thus, if you ask your child a question or for something, wait at least five seconds. The teenager will perceive more information and, quite possibly, will give an adequate answer. Try to be short and precise, and avoid long monologues.
It’s not so easy to follow all the rules mentioned above — you need a lot of patience and strength. Moreover, you can try to find your own special, individual approach to the child, which will positively affect your communication and relationships. Furthermore, don’t forget to show and tell your teens that you love them.