By Kat Du Bois
Do you have trouble talking to you teenager? Does the way they think boggle your mind? Believe it or not, teens have the same problem! Sometimes we don’t understand why we feel a certain way. It’s even worse when parents think they do and make everything worse by trying to make everything better.
Now parents. I know exactly what you’re thinking right now. Teens are so disrespectful!! or I do know what they’re going through because I was a teen once. Well, I hate to break it to you, but times are different. You may be able to help your teen with some things, but certain things you can’t, and you have to accept that.
Step one in successfully talking to your teen is…
Listen to them!
Listening to your teen and not interrupting them when they speak is hard. I understand. But sometimes, they just need someone to talk to that isn’t their friend. Friends come and go, but you are their parent. In most cases, you’re there forever. Making a good impression on your teen when it comes to listening to them is very important!
And, also, a side note: don’t tell your friends about their problems. They let down their guard to talk to you, and you tell other people? That is THE WORST thing you can do.
Step two in successfully talking to your teen is…
Tell them your values and opinions.
Teens like to hear what parents have to say, just don’t over do it. It’s best to tell them when they ask, because then you know they want to hear it. When you do tell them, make sure your opinion doesn’t seem overly judgmental or condescending.
High school is hard. Teens already stress about things like their friends, grades, appearance, etc., and saying something that condemns what they enjoy will tear them down and make them feel wrong and not good enough. An example is, if you don’t like one of their friends, ask them what makes them like that friend and maybe you’ll see what they’re seeing.
Step three in successfully talking to your teen is…
Yelling doesn’t help
I know when teens do something that is just horrible, it crawls under your skin. It makes you steam with anger, and all you want to do is yell. Teens feel this way too! All yelling does is makes them build their wall higher and make them want to rebel more. It just frustrates them! Try to talk to them calmly, without allowing them to interrupt you, and they’ll listen.
Step four in successfully talking to your teen is…
Lectures are horrible!!
Let’s face it. No one like lectures. Especially teens. When teens do something bad and parents lecture them, they stop listening. They don’t want to sit there and listen to you tell them all the bad stuff they’ve done because it’s boring and self degrading. They know they’ve done bad. If you tell them that they’ve done something bad and punish them, or tell them what the punishments are going to be if they ever do that again, they’ll listen. And, the bright side to that is, you don’t have to make up a long boring lecture.
Step five in successfully talking to your teen is…
Try to understand their stress.
Teens stress out about the stupidest things. Don’t make a big deal about the little things they fret over, because it just makes them more stressed out. They’ll stress about boyfriends and girlfriends, as well as who they are as a person and their friends. The best thing you can do is listen to them and try to help them work it out, if they want you to help them.
Step six in successfully talking to your teen is…
Now, school is a very broad and vague topic. What teens think about when they hear “school” is stress. School stresses teens out because of all it comes with. All it’s lovely accessories. A.P. (Advanced Placement) is very stressful. Keep in mind that these are college level classes. They will have a lot of homework, and it really doesn’t hurt for you to help them when you have the time. Whether teens say it or not, they appreciate your effort a lot.
Step seven in successfully talking to your teen is…
You know what adults do all the time? Complain about teens being “glued” to their phones. This just makes teens want to stay on their phone more because the adults are telling them not to. But teens aren’t always on their phones just to play games and not spend time talking to people because they’re “antisocial.” Teens spend their time on places like FaceBook and Twitter talking to people! These people could be family members that don’t live near them, or people they met that live across the world. Teens love talking to people and they love meeting new people. Teens see electronics as a great way to do this!
Step eight in successfully talking to your teen is…
Last but not least…
Remember that being a parent comes before being a friend. But, if you can do both at the same time, you’re set! It’s great to have a parent that is cool and listens to you like a friend, but also has authority over you. Teens need authority, even if they don’t tell you this. It’s how you bond and end up having a great relationship with them for the rest of your life!
I’m going to say it again, whether teens say it or not, they appreciate your effort SO MUCH. They love you with all their hear,t even if they don’t show it.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my article! Please leave a comment if I forgot anything or if I helped you at all.