Tips for Communicating with Teenagers

Hello amazing people!

Greetings, as we navigate into the mysterious world of teenager-hood. It’s the time to swim in the edgy waters of adolescence – a period of immense change and flux, where the little angel you’ve nurtured suddenly dons their invisible invincibility cloak and starts exploring their life in ways that often leave you scratching your head, puzzled. Have no fear! Here are some friendly tips to ease your journey of communicating with these unpredictable entities, your beloved teenagers.

Firstly, be a genuinely good listener. If you’re a parent, guardian, mentor, or simply an adult who’s working with teenagers, this tip can be your life-saver. Your teen will have endless insights, theories, plans, dramas, and dilemmas to share. Be patient and attentive. Even though these tales may seem trivial or outdated to your adult mindset, they’re happening in real-time in your teen’s universe, and they are important to your teen. Show empathy and respect, and validate their feelings because your teen’s feelings matter.

Pause before you preach! This can be a tough one, but it is vital. As an adult, we’ve more life experiences. And, of course, we want to save our teens from the mistakes we made. But before you launch into a well-meaning sermon, take a moment. Consider delivering it in a discussion format that encourages open conversation, or consider just asking good questions to help them think through things. We want them to learn from us, but remember your teen’s brain also screams for independence and self-awareness.

Communicate clearly without ridicule. If you’re trying to communicate a rule or expectation, be as clear as possible. The adolescent mind often thrives in black and white, with grey areas causing unnecessary confusion. And if your teen disagrees or fails to observe those rules? Avoid name-calling or derogatory remarks—no one wins in that game. Keep it simple, clear, and respectful.

Embrace their world. Have you ever received a blank stare when you mentioned your favorite childhood band or TV show? Now flip that situation. If you want to strike a chord with your teen, take an interest in their world—their music, YouTube influencers, fashion trends, language, etc. You don’t need to imitate them; showing an understanding of their world goes a long way in building a closer bond.

Finally, remember, your teenager is transforming. Their opinions, interests, friends, and behaviors can switch faster than you blink. Acceptance of this change is the foundation of a strong relationship.

Phew! If you’ve made it through, here’s a virtual high-five. Parenting or being around teens can feel like walking on a tightrope in a windstorm. But with patience, understanding, and open communication, we can not only survive this phase but establish a relationship of mutual respect and trust.

Remember, there’s no single ‘right’ way to communicate with teens. It’s about exploring, learning, and growing together in this adventure of teenager-hood.

Happy Communicating!