Communicating With Your Teen

Good communication between parents and teens has always been a difficult situation for both the teen and parents. This is in part due to the fact that teens are in a stage of life where they are trying to establish their self identities and are trying to become more independent. They sometimes will say they feel that they are treated like a child when in their mind they are ready to make grown-up decisions and are eager to make it on their own.

Sometimes teens feel like they have figured out how the world works and they feel that their parents donít know much or at the very least they feel that their patents overreact in certain situations. This is after parents try many times to shield their kids from the bad things found in the world. This may contribute to the false sense of security shown by teens.

Why Is Good Communication Important?

Studies show that when parents are involved in the lives of their teens, teens tend to have fewer problems at school and seem to be less likely to experiment with harmful substances and situations. In fact, one of the first signs that a teen is suffering from a serious mental or emotional problem is withdrawal from family and friends. It would be important to note that if there isnt consistent communication that exists already, parents wouldnt even be aware that their teen is withdrawing. They would likely miss one of the most important warning signs that an individual is suffering from major emotional or mental stress and anxiety.

In addition, when parents and teens are able to maintain an open dialogue, teens will feel that their parents are approachable when needing to discuss important life decisions. For example, as a parent, one would probably want their teen to come to find out about sex. The teen will be able to receive answers to their questions in a controlled and moral involved conversation in contrast with them going to friends or learning about things from the media. By being able to discuss important decisions and at times difficult subjects, teens will be able to hear the real risks and consequences that their peers and society seem to leave out of the discussion.

How To Maintain Good Communication

Parents have the ability to make communicating with their teens relaxed, natural, and even fun. A few tips in good communication are:

Parents shouldnt press teens for too much information; teens will talk about certain subjects when they are ready. Too much pressure or forcing a teen to talk about something will only make teens not want to talk or share information with their parents.

Keep the mood relaxed and calm-when parents overreact to something their teens says, teens will in turn shut down and not want to continue the conversation.

Parents should be available and approachable to their teens when they want to talk and communicate. Sometimes all that a teen really needs is a listening ear and a loving and caring parent to turn to.