Your teen is getting older and it feels like things are changing. That’s because they are. Communication doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, it can be fun and less frustrating than you think. Here’s how.
1. Give your teen some space – your teen is maturing and its natural for them to desire more autonomy and independence. Allow them opportunities to make decisions and do things without you. It will give them a sense of pride, improve their confidence and create a more trusting parent-teen relationship
2. Less is more – When your teen opens up, be an attentive and active listener. Instead of thinking of the next question, make the conscious effort to hear what they’re saying. Sometimes they just need someone to share their ideas with. Be supportive, offer to help but reinforce confidence and good decision making.
3. Understand what’s really going on in their lives – some parents are laser focused on academics more than anything else. It might surprise you, but this may not be your teens #1 priority. School is important but it not a full reflection of who your teen really is. What are their interests, talents, hopes and dreams. What about other life areas like recreation, social and spiritual? Having a well-rounded teen leads to a balanced and healthy young adult
4. Be comfortable with silence – every conversation doesn’t have to be about academics, college and what they want to be when they get older. Sometimes teens just need to know you care. Keep it light, ask how they’re doing and chat about current events, pop culture or fashion. Relaxed conversations build trust and increase the likelihood they’ll open up to you.
5. Be Patient – navigating the adolescent years can be tricky. You were their age once. Relax and know that everything will be okay.