As parents, it’s easy to feel like our teenage children are a mystery to us. Fortunately, there are ways to encourage communication between you and your teen. In this article, Dennis Bonnen shares tips for bettering parent-teen relationships through communication. So read on to learn more about effective communication methods!
Set Aside Time For Conversation
It’s easy for a conversation between a parent and teen to seem like an afterthought when life gets busy. Instead of waiting for spontaneous discussions that may or may not come up, set aside specific times for talking with your teen about anything and everything on their mind. This could be before bedtime or during family meals—whatever works best for your family; just make sure that it becomes a regular habit!
Pick Your Battles
It’s true—teenagers can push our buttons in just one sentence (or even one syllable!). Before launching into a lecture or scolding your teen every time they say something you disagree with, take a step back and ask yourself if the topic is worth addressing right now.
If it isn’t going to have lasting repercussions, then maybe it isn’t worth making an issue; instead, focus on having honest conversations about important issues when the time is right. Not every disagreement should turn into a blown-out fight.
Listening without judgment is critical when communicating with teenagers. Showing empathy helps build trust between parent and child, making them more likely to open up about things that are bothering them in the future. Letting teens know you understand where they are coming from will help bridge any generational gaps between you two!
Create an Open Dialogue
Creating an open dialogue means inviting teens to express their thoughts without fear of criticism or judgment from either side of the conversation. This means listening attentively whenever your teen speaks up and being honest when sharing your feelings and experiences; showing vulnerability is vital here! Working together towards understanding each other will encourage further dialogue in the future.
Asking questions is one of the most effective ways to get teens talking—this shows genuine interest in what they have to say and demonstrates respect for their opinion, ultimately leading to better communication down the line! Make sure you ask open-ended questions so that they feel free to share whatever comes to mind rather than feeling pressure from leading questions such as, “Do you think this is right?”
Set Boundaries & Share Expectations
Parents must set boundaries for their teens and share their expectations clearly and concisely. Discussing expectations allows teens to understand acceptable behavior. This will help prevent misunderstandings and create a solid foundation for open dialogue between parent and teen.
Be Respectful of Your Teen’s Privacy
Parents need to respect their teen’s privacy and not invade it unnecessarily. This means refraining from rummaging through their belongings without permission or snooping through their social media accounts. Treat your teenager’s privacy as you want yours treated.
While this may seem counterintuitive when trying to encourage communication between the two of you, it is necessary if your teen is going to trust you enough to open up about what’s going on in their life. Making sure that they have a private space where they feel safe is essential for creating an environment in which conversation can flow more freely.
Dennis Bonnen understands that fostering healthy communication between parents and teenagers can be challenging but is worth it! By following this guide, you can help strengthen the bond between yourself and your teenager while promoting respectful discussion about important topics related to growing up! With these tips in mind, improving communication between parents and teens should become easier over time!