Ah, the teenage years. I have blocked mine out and luckily my kids aren’t there yet but I definitely want to be prepared. I hope you enjoy today’s guest post by one of our favorite guests Lee Flynn.
Parents Guide to Effective Communication with an Adolescent
When parents argue with their
adolescent kids, it does not mean something is wrong with the relationship between parents and adolescents. Their arguments are usually indications of the wide differences in attitudes, wishes, values, and beliefs. Handling a conflict is never easy, considering they are common in households where adolescents are trying to establish their individualism while parents are reluctant to accept that their kids are changing.
Talk to Them When They are Ready to Talk
When an adolescent gets into a situation that her parents will not be happy about such as an unplanned pregnancy, the adolescent will expect a lecture. Therefore, when her parents call her in for a talk, she will begin to shut down. It easier to communicate with an adolescent if she is not all defensive. So, let her know that you want to talk to her about her mistake and ask them to inform you when they are ready. Try to at least get them to agree that the two of you need to talk before letting them completely off the hook. You might be surprised to see your teen come to you shortly after ready to talk even it’s about newborn adoption.
Resist the Desire to Make Everything “Right” for Your Teen Immediately
Naturally, parents want the best for their teenagers. However, most parents communicate this by telling them what they need to do at every point in their lives. Adolescents equate this to nagging. Adolescents often rebel not because their parents are wrong but because they feel the parents are infringing on their freedom of choice. They are likely to listen more when the conversation does not begin with what they need to do.
Ask Them Their Thoughts on the Topic at Hand
You have higher chances of communicating effectively with adolescents if you make them feel valued and that their input matters. When adolescents face a challenging situation, asking them for their opinions will give you valuable insights into how they perceive the issue at hand. In addition, listening to their views give you an idea of what they know or plan to do. You may be surprised when they offer the same solutions that you had planned to offer to them at the beginning of the conversation. If they offer great solutions, let them know that they are on the right path. Compliments and praise can go a long way and adolescents need them.
Ask for Permission to Offer Advice
While many parents feel they should not ask for permission to talk to their teenagers, the life changing advice of a parent will only help improve the welfare of an adolescent if he is willing to listen. You are likely to get the attention of an adolescent if you ask for permission to offer advice, especially if it is the first time you are using the strategy. This will also make them understand that you respect them and thought enough of them to ask for permission.
If they agree to listen to what you have to offer, you will now have the opportunity to offer the advice you wanted in the beginning and they will actually listen. Involve the adolescent in the conversation and ask them for solutions to the situation if they do not agree with the advice you have offered. In fact, if an adolescent comes up with effective solutions to an issue, he is more likely to follow through.
Do not stop loving your adolescent child just because he occasionally messes up. Let him know that you are always there no matter what. The adolescent years can be confusing and disappointing. Just letting an adolescent know that you are there to support them can make a big difference in how they conduct themselves.
Lee Flynn is a freelance writer. Through small local workshops and articles, Lee trains and teaches others on home preparation, healthy living, food storage techniques, and self reliance.