Top 5 Tips To Understand And Talk To Your Teenagers
Adolescence is not always a smooth ride… and sometimes, as a parent, it can seem exhausting because it is so full of challenges! So, without further ado, let’s dive into this blog and learn about some of the tips to ease the tension and improve your relationship with your teenager, who is, let’s not forget, an adult in the making.
Communicating means expressing what you feel and what you really want to say to the other person. In fluid communication, each person feels free to give his/her point of view, argue, and explain. Listening is present and is a condition for continuing the dialogue. It is also necessary to be able to smooth out the edges and sometimes postpone certain things that are more difficult to hear until later when the other person is ready.
But what can you do if your teenager doesn’t talk to you anymore or only talks a little? Don’t block yourself from him/her, don’t close all doors, and respect this isolation. Your role will be to show her/him that you are always there for her/him, available if she/he wants it.
Listening means letting the person in front of you speak. Allow him/her to develop his/her ideas, tell his/her story, and his/her problems. You are giving him/her space and time to reveal him/herself. In a way, you are saying: I care about you, I take you seriously, you are important to me.
By listening to your teenager, you are giving him/her proof that he/she matters to you, despite possible differences of opinion. If you don’t have much contact with each other, don’t let any opportunities slip away. Put your own priorities on the back burner.
Encouraging means motivating, giving, or restoring confidence, reviving your teenager’s courage when the task at hand is long and arduous. You help him/her to go beyond his/her limits and move forward.
Encouraging allows you to highlight the potential, the resources, the qualities that each of us has within us but that we sometimes lose sight of or that doubt hides. It is a positive attitude that helps us grow, literally and figuratively. It is normal for your teenager to make mistakes, but be patient; he/she is still in the process of building! Instead, build a positive relationship.
4. Set limits
By setting limits for your children, you are transmitting values to them. You show them what is right and wrong. You are teaching them concepts such as tolerance, respect for others, the rights and privileges of each person, obedience, mutual help, and mutual understanding. It is also a way to give them points of reference, to show them what is allowed and what is not. This framework is specific to each family; it allows them to grow up in security.
Inevitably, your child/children will make mistakes. They are part of the learning process. But don’t overdramatize and, above all, remember that a “good punishment” is one that condemns the disrespect of the rules, not the person who committed it. There is no point other than to reinforce the teen’s resentment in demolishing him or her with a final judgment that would be tantamount to a banishment. Even if the offense is serious, it does not deserve a rejection, a parental condemnation that would break the family ties and lead the teenager to other abuses.
5. Develop mutual trust
Trust means believing in the other person and his or her abilities. Showing your confidence strengthens and reinforces your adolescent’s confidence in him/her. It is also about letting him/her breathe, taking the necessary freedom for his/her personal experience. He/she may make mistakes, it is inevitable, but they are opportunities to evolve.
Trust is not always easy to establish with an adolescent. Indeed, the trust you probably had in him/her as a child has recently been shaken by the behaviors he/she adopts. All the changes she/he is undergoing are destabilizing for both of you. Trust is not about blindly allowing everything. It’s about channeling the teen’s behavior, showing that you care about her/him and that she/he is still under your authority and responsibility.
Whenever possible, you will point out their qualities, their abilities, and what is really positive about them. Don’t be the “snuffer” of his/her dreams; on the contrary, encourage them. Give importance to his/her ideal, to his/her desire to be active in a more just and supportive society. Question the way you see him/her. The difficult behavior of a teenager sometimes simply expresses the need to be perceived differently by his parents.
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