Whether you are a teacher at school or a parent at home, you will agree with the fact that dealing with teenagers could be really difficult because of their irritable mood at times.
Sometimes, trying to communicate with your teenagers could mean taking yourself through a lot of panoramic experiences.
Balancing the art of being kind, friendly, supportive, and loving with the strict rules of not doing this or that is a key point that commands a careful look into the way that communication would flow between an adult and a teenager.
As much as we try our best to fully communicate with these teenagers who are getting to know themselves, it is worth noting that every teenager is unique in their own way and should be approached using the method that best suits him or her.
We have compiled a few ways in which you can make communicating with your teenager more fun and less boring. Take a read.
1. Be Real
In a bid to be seen as a role model, adults usually fake perfection. While this may sound like a way of making your teenager listen to you, you should realize that these teenagers have the capacity to see beyond your face simpler and gestures.
If you want to communicate better with your teen, you should be transparent and honest with them. Let them know that you have your own weaknesses, let them see the real you not a representation of a flawless person.
The more they realize that you equally make mistakes, the more they tend to open up to you and make you a go-to person when they want to talk.
This doesn’t mean that you should let go of your guard, rather it means that you should present yourself to your teenagers in the most humane way possible; prone to mistakes and void of all answers to the questions of life.
2. Be in Charge
If you are like most parents with teenagers at home, you will realize by now that no matter how much you tell and scream, it doesn’t get anywhere with these teenagers.
As long as they know that they can get you to scream, they will continue to experiment with those actions that instigate the feelings that would make you scream and they would even subconsciously go into a competition with you to see how much they can stress you.
No matter how emotional you may get, always make sure that you are in charge when talking with your teenagers, direct the conversation the way you want it and not the other way around both logically and relationally.
3. Approach it differently
You didn’t have to approach matters the same old way it has always been. Your teenagers are getting to know and explore themselves and they will open up more if you talk about sensitive issues in a way they do not expect.
Also, it is important to note that your teenager will not have to answer you on everything you ask them. Sometimes, they may just walk out on you or remain silent, you should know this if you want to communicate effectively else you would realize that you will be losing touch with the child you are supposed to communicate with.
Don’t also get trapped in the net of trying to tell your teenage child what to do, they obviously will not listen to what you have just said to them at all times. Sometimes, you should just listen to them and have them tell you what they think on a particular matter.
It must have to be your own way at times because you once upon the child is finding their way to becoming an adult and the best way you can help is to guide them and help them become a better adult by ensuring them that their opinion also counts.
5. It doesn’t hurt to apologize
It is okay to make mistakes even as an adult but to get the respect of your teenage and have them open up to you in terms of conversation, you need to apologize to them when you are wrong and even with the tiniest of things.
When you do this, you are in turn modeling a trait of sincerity which you would love to see play out later on in the course of communicating with you.
6. Talk about other things
You should not talk with your teenager only when you have ‘important’ things to talk about, you should take out time to casually talk about their likes and dislikes while making them the initiators and having fun with them.
Spice up your casual conversation with maybe an outing or a snack or confectionery. This would help you to strongly become the kind of parent that your child would love to relate with knowing that there is an open channel of communication and not a wall of instructions.
This also makes the parent-child relationship deeper. Talk about things that do not have any consequence attached in the case where there is a difference in opinion and thoughts.
7. Ask questions that are not pressurizing
Try not to let your conversation with your teenager be a kind of conversation that will lead to a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ only. Do your best to task questions that will make them want to open up easily to you because you care about what they value.
For instance, do not only ask, “Have you read your books?” You can ask open-ended questions like “What are your favorite soap operas these days?” these questions will make your child want to tell you more and may lead as a foundation for other constructive discussions.
8. Body contact:
As long as it is appropriate and where necessary, endeavor to establish body contact with your teenager. You can never tell how much it would man to them to have a pat on their back or have their wrist held by an adult especially when they are in a bad mood. A healthy physical touch will make them loosen up and probably open up for a conversation with you.
9. Drive with them
If you have something very important to discuss with your teenager and they seem not to be interested in talking with you, try taking them on a ride.
Sometimes, the problem is that they do not wish to look you in the face while they talk and this is what driving will do because they will not have to be concerned about looking at your eyes in the course of the discussion.
Even as an adult, you will agree that there is something about eye contact that you are not comfortable with and sometimes, it makes you defensive in nature to get rid of this phobia, the best option is to drive as you talk.
10. Write notes for them
Sometimes, in the course of a conversation, you get too emotional with these teens and the conversation which was supposed to be healthy begins to sway the other way and sometimes leaves both parties frustrated.
To avoid this, try writing notes for your teens instead of talking directly with them sometimes. In writing, you will be able to constructively put your thoughts forward to them while leaving unhealthy emotions out of the conversation.
In conclusion, not all of these communication tactics will work for every teenager, you should try out one after the other to check out the one that best suits the child you are working with.