Raising teenagers can be a challenging responsibility, and one of the most important techniques a parent can use is effective communication. Teenagers who have an open, loving relationship with their parents are more likely to socialize well with other teens and adults. Parent/teen communication is related to several factors including:
- Self-esteem and self-confidence,
- Academic achievement, and
Spend time with teenagers
It can be difficult for a parent to find time to spend with their teenager. Ordinarily, teens are involved in school activities, social events, or spending time with their friends. Too often, parents spend more time at work, giving them less time with their children. This can lead to problems in communication. Teens and their parents need to talk more often and take extra time to share important messages.
Effective communication occurs when one person sends a clear and easily understood message to another person, who understands the message as the sender intended. Effective communication involves both listening and speaking. As a parent, one of the best ways to get your teenager to listen to you is to really listen to your teen.
Parents have to be active listeners. Active listening includes:
- Staying focused on what your teenager is trying to say.
- Empathize with your teen and try to maintain calm throughout the conversation.
- Encourage your teen to really say what is on his mind.
By listening to teens, parents get across the message that they care about what the teen is saying and that it is safe to talk to them. Listening helps parents stay in touch with their teen’s experiences and feelings even when their teen is spending a lot of time with other social groups.
Teens want their parents to understand how they’re feeling. It is up to the parents to make their teen understand that he or she can talk to them about anything going on in their life. In order to solve a teen’s problems, it is important to be able to discuss them openly. Using good communication skills, parents can discuss tough issues with their teenager such as alcohol use or sex.
Effective communication is needed for teen co-operation. Parents need to show interest in their teen’s feelings and opinions, even when they disagree. This helps to build trust and mutual respect. Effective communication should also include meaningful praise. Parents must acknowledge their teen’s successes whenever possible offer praise.
By communicating sensitively with their teen, parents can help teens grow into responsible adults. If parent/child communication is effective, consistent, positive, and loving, teens are more likely to grow emotionally and socially.