Communicating With Your Teen
Communicating with your teen is challenging. Do you think that your teen speaks a different language and you struggle to understand why they do some of the things they do. Communicating with your teen Orlando, can be a struggle and feels like an uphill battle. Teens are at times impulsive, entitled or down right disobedient. Maybe they are sending you a message but have a hard time articulating it. Why don’t we as the parents unlock the key to teens and learn their language so we can help not only ourselves but them as well navigate during this hard time of adolescent development.
- Don’t do the “lecture” with your teen. Engage in a real conversation. When parents start to lecture you better believe your teen has tuned you out. Try having a discussion that is two way. They feel part of instead of talked down to.
- Don’t attack your teen. Don’t start off the conversation accusing your teen. You will engage in a never ending battle. They will become instantly defensive.
- Show respect that your teen has an opinion. Teens are surprisingly very easy to talk with. Its important that the parents make it very clear that they are listening to their teen’s point of view.
- Keep it short and simple. Studies have shown that almost every parent says 50% more than he or she needs to. Don’t you remember listening to your parents and thinking, “When are they going to shut up?”
- Be yourself. Don’t attempt to try to talk like your teen and their friends. Your the adult. Talk like the adult.
- Capture the right moment. A spontaneous, off the cuff conversation driving in the car or at home, getting a bite to eat, etc. Anytime when you’re not rushed is the best time. These can make the most memorable and rewarding times between you and your teen.
Understand yourself better as a Parent first and Communicating With Your Teen.
Many times I say to my clients that we as parents have “blind spots”. These are areas that we either do not want to look at in ourselves or are truly blind to. We may have blind spots and whatever the reason, (denial, resentment, fear,etc). One thing you must know is that your teen sees them and it is not blind to them. By bringing awareness to these and seeking individual or couples counseling, you can be better equipped to communicating effectively with your child an in the end your teen sees and respects you for the work they see you do.
The most common blind spots when Communicating with Your Teen
- Childhood trauma
- Substance or behavioral Abuse
- Codependency (helicopter parenting)
- Control and the need to fix
- Parents unresolved anger and resentment from their childhood
These are just a few, but if you are unwilling to do the work to dig deep and clear away these blockages, you and your teen will struggle and have a hard time. The hardest part often times about parenting is having our actions match up with our words. Seeking therapy for your teen does not mean you bring your teen into therapy with the expectation of dropping them off to be “fixed”. It more times than not means you as the parent coming in to learn how to reach them. Give it a try. I can promise you that your teen needs a strong role model. The greatest gift we can give them is to show that we as parents are human and able to look at those areas that most consider to painful or hard to look at.