5 Rules of Communication with Inadequate Teenagers
Posted On March 19, 2018
As an adult, we have all been there. We have been a teenager once and able to love through the awkward stage of growing up and trying to find ourselves and our place in the world. We are all too familiar with the growing pains of adolescent years and hoped that adults like our parents, would at least try to understand us and give us space.
So why can’t we do that to teenagers today? Why is it still hard for us to wrap our heads around the idea of trying to understand teenagers through proper communication? Here are some tips for communicating with your teen.
Start all interactions with understanding
This is a simple secret that can help you open the lines of communication with your teen. Even if you do not agree to their reasoning, you have to try to understand. Remember, even if you have been a teenager once, times changed and teenagers nowadays are living a different life. You have to accept that you live in different worlds, and you speak different “languages”.
Always start from a place of understanding even if the situation drives you crazy. Doing so will help your teen realize that you are willing to listen and open to understanding. Your teen does not have to clam up and keep things from you for the fear of being misunderstood or be defensive and rude as a response to your constant nagging.
Try to be objective and not emotional
Emotions have the ability to cloud our judgments. If you are trying to communicate with a teenager, letting your emotions rule the situation can lead to a disaster. It will only make your teen shun you and distance themselves especially when situations get intense.
Even if you do not like the situation and your teen’s behaviour, you must try to keep your emotions out of it. You have to think of it as negotiating a business transaction, nothing personal. Teenagers still have to practice their decision making skills so they can avoid poor choices in life. Let them be themselves and there is nothing wrong with it. Your role is just to guide and understand them instead of trying to fix them.
Collaborate and avoid loaded questions
Oftentimes, the key to a successful relationship is teamwork. Be collaborative and avoid loaded questions that lead to your teen feeling like they are being judged. This will only result in defensiveness and resentment. Make your teen feel like he can solve his own problems. Ask curious questions that lead to your teen figuring out what would work best for him or her.
Again, you should let teenagers be themselves. Listen carefully and understand the problem objectively. Then ask questions about each possible option and their consequences. This will make them feel like they are in control of their life and that you are a great pillar of support no matter what they chose to do and no matter the consequences.
Do not be obsessed or be clingy
Teenagers are just discovering the world and trying to stand on their own two feet. Do not be needy by trying to keep up with everything they do or stalking them on social media. These will only make them feel controlled, manipulated, and not trustworthy. You can do as much as be their friends on social media, and if they let you, try not to abuse the privilege.
When the tension is intense and you are both upset, take a few minutes to even out your emotions. Bring the subject up when you are both calmed down so you can talk more objectively.
Following these rules of communication may be hard in the beginning, but once you get the hang of it, you will realize that your relationship with your teen is better than ever.