How can I begin communicating with teenagers?

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Answered by: Donna, An Expert in the Talking to Your Teenager Category
Communication is one of the most difficult things to accomplish as your child becomes a teenager. The last thing a child wants to do is to sit down and have aheart to heart talk with their parents. Many parents ask about communicating with teenagers because as they become teenagers they also seem to grow away from their families especially their parents. Soon it seems as if the teens become aleins in their own home, speaking a new language, dressing a new way and all the time their parents may begin to question the way they raised their children and even begin to blame themselves for these changes.

However, while they are venturing out trying new things, talking different, and even acting different parents must learn to communicate with them to help guide them on their journey to adulthood. Communication is more than just talking, its learning to listen and while it seems easy it can be difficult for some parents to do. A few guideline to learning to listen are:

1.Do not interrupt them while they are speaking even if you do not like or agree with them.

2.Do not judge them until you have completely heard them out.

3.Watch your body language, children can read parents just by their nonverbal body language. For instance the way they hold their arms, or sit in the chair as if they were ready to pounce.

4. Before you say anything really think of what you want to say, and say it calmly, and rationally. You may even need to take some time to think abut what they have said. Do it and come back togethr at a later time.

5.While you may not agree with themat least let them know you understand and respect their opinion, you can both agree to disagree.

Learning to listen can be one of the most difficult yet rewarding parts of communicatin with your children. Some parents want to become their child's best friend, they begin to dress, to talk and even act like their teen. Their mistake is that they are not a teenager, they need to make sure they differentiate that to their child. While they want to be able to have a relationship with open communication you are still the parent and thatwill not change.

After you have taken the time to listen to your child you must now begin to talk to your teen. Communicating with teenagers means that while you talk to each other there should be no yelling, no raised voices, or sarcastic tones in your voices as you speak to each other. Respect goes a long way when building that communiocation with your child. If you respect each other you can trust each other. That teen can trust that what they say to you is not going to be the neighborhood gossip over the back yard fence. You can trust that your child is telling you the truth until you are proven wrong. It takes time to build a relationship of communication it is something that should be started long before children become teenagers but if not it is never to late to begin to learn to communicate with you teen. Lastly, if you still seem to have problems haveing a neutral third party such as a counselor or psychologist may be your next step to guiding your through their teen years.

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