3 Tips to Maintain Positive Communication with Your Teenager

Peace at Home June 1, 2022

By Brynn Rosadino & Amy Kostak, CFLE.

Do you have a hard time understanding your teenager?

Are you worried that there are things about which your teen isn’t open with you?

As your child enters adolescence, your relationship will inevitably start to change.

Teenagers go through a period of identity formation which can look a lot like rebellion. Your teen may be distancing herself from you, as she grasps at independence. But be assured that parental affection and support are still needed. Even if your teen does not express it, he needs you more than either of you know!

This time can definitely put a strain on your relationship, especially if you don’t have some ideas about how to handle the many biological, social and emotional changes your teen is experiencing. Having a relationship with open communication between you and your teenager is crucial in maintaining a positive relationship through these challenging years!

Here are 3 tips to help you effectively communicate with your teen:

1. Listen First, Speak Second

Your teen wants and needs to be heard; it’s necessary for healthy adolescent development. When your teen opens up to you, if at all possible give her your undivided attention and let her say everything she feels. When she finishes speaking, reflect the emotions and major content you heard her discuss. For instance, you might say, “It sounds like you’re sad that you weren’t invited to the party.” or “You seem really mad about the grade your teacher gave you.” Rather than giving your opinions, simply listen and let your teen know she is heard. The more your teenager feels she can confide in you without judgement, the better and more open your communication will be.

2. Give Advice when Asked

After your teen tells you about a problem he’s facing, you’re probably going to think of a million ways to solve it. But, your opinions are not helpful unless he asks for them. If he happens to ask what you think he should do, start by asking your teen what ideas he has about addressing the issue he presented. Teens who perceive themselves to be problem solvers are more likely to be safe and capable during teen years. If you have always solved your child’s problem, he may feel dependent on your thinking. Really encourage him to look for ideas within himself. Express your confidence in his capacities to sort things out. From time to time, if you do want to offer a tentative solution, give your honest, non-judgmental thoughts. This is not the time to lecture or point out deficits. Rather, it is a time to let your teen know you are on his side, you understand his emotions, and you want to help him through this.

3. Let Go of Expectations

You want to be close with your teen and you want to feel important to her. But during this stage, your relationship will not always look the way you hope. Enjoy the times your teen opens up, but don’t nag or pry when she doesn’t share everything with you. Schedule time to spend together, but don’t anticipate your teen wanting to hang out with you every day. Developing a group of peers during adolescence is an important task that helps with launching into adulthood. When it feels like she hates you, be patient and remember your child will not be a teenager forever!

For more parenting support, please join us for an Upcoming Live Class  or browse our Catalog of Recorded Content including Quick Video Solution Libraries with handouts.  Questions? Email us at Solutions@Peaceathomeparenting.com   


Related Posts

Peace at Home

Let’s stop trying to fix children’s mental health

Post-pandemic children and teens are struggling with alarming rates of anxiety and depression as well as suicide. Because

Peace at HomeOctober 25 , 2022
Peace at Home

Finding the Right Therapist Can Be Like Speed

The search for the right therapist can be a lot like speed dating. It can feel tedious, exhausting,

Peace at HomeOctober 24 , 2022
Peace at Home

World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day is October 10th and the theme for 2022 is “Make mental health and wellbeing

Peace at HomeOctober 07 , 2022
Peace at Home

Does Peace At Home Parenting make you nervous?

Here at Peace At Home we sometimes worry about making you nervous. Let’s talk about it. If you

Peace at HomeSeptember 30 , 2022
Peace at Home

A Perfect Storm for U.S. Working Families

Children’s Mental Health Crisis and Working Parent Burnout: Companies Can Help One definition of a perfect storm is

Peace at HomeAugust 22 , 2022
Peace at Home

The Kids are Not All Right:7 Steps to

By Ruth E. Freeman, LCSW, David Hanscom, MD, and Aaron Weintraub,MS The experts have declared a “pediatric mental

Peace at HomeJune 28 , 2022

Join our mailing lists for more parenting tips