Teen years bring a handful of challenges for parents, one of which is communication. Sometimes, communicating with teenagers can be frustrating as they do not understand what parents are trying to say. This may be due to the communication barrier that naturally exists between the two generations. Parents of teens sometimes complain that their kids do not listen to them or do not take their words seriously. On the other hand, kids say that their parents simply don’t understand them. These little arguments affect this beautiful relationship. Here is how to communicate effectively with kids in order to avoid argument and making things tense among you.
1. Think Before You Speak
One of the most important things that you must keep in mind while raising teens is that they are really sensitive. They take your words very seriously even if they do not let it show. Once spoken, you can’t take your words back, so you must think twice before speaking, a golden rule that you must be trying to teach your kids as well. While communicating with teenagers, you must think what you really want to say and why it is important. Share what is important and avoid going into the details, as kids usually find long conversations boring.
2. Put Yourself in Your Kid’s Shoes
It may seem difficult, but it is very important that you think about everything from a kid’s perspective as it is the only way you can get on the same page as your kid. When it comes to efficient communication, it is not always necessary to act like a fatherly or motherly figure. You may talk to them like their friend so that they feel comfortable sharing their innermost feelings. Sometimes, you will feel bored listening to the childish stories they share with you about their school and friends, but you have to understand that these things are important to them. Do not let them think for even a second that you are forcing yourself to listen to them as that can push them away.
3. Wait for the Right Time
One of the major mistakes parents make while communicating with teens is not paying attention to the timing. There is always a right time to say everything and you must wait for it. If you want to point out any mistake of your kid, then make sure you start this conversation when they are free and are in a good mood. In the same way, avoid talking to them when they are in a hurry or are busy in some other tasks such as completing homework, playing their favorite video game, etc., as they won’t be paying any attention to what you are saying.
4. Choose Your Words Carefully
There are dozens of ways of saying one thing. You have to make sure that you find the best possible way, and doing this is not difficult. You just have to take care of following things.
- Avoid using negative words like no, don’t, etc. too often
- Be as polite as possible and avoid using harsh language
- Avoid asking too many questions
- Use words of encouragement frequently
5. Become a Good Listener
Last but not the least, try to be a good listener in order to master the art and science of communicating with teens. Listen to them no matter how upset or angry you are with them. It will also help you to get their perspective about the thing you are talking about. Encourage them to share their views and feelings and then respond accordingly.