How to talk to a teenager so that he or she can hear you: six tips from psychologists

By Jurassic JennApr 8, 2024 17:07 PMChildren
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How to talk to a teenager so that he or she can hear you
How to talk to a teenager so that he or she can hear you. Source: pexels.com

If any attempt to "reach out" to a teenager ends in a quarrel or indifference on the part of the child, something needs to change. Psychologists have told SSPDaily how to talk to a teenager so that he or she can hear and listen.

Do not use authority and your experience

Don't tell your teenager "Because I said so" or "I know better." Instead, say, "Let me explain why I think it will be better."

According to experts, most family disagreements arise from a lack of explanation. Of course, parents are always tempted to simply "clamp down" on a resisting teenager with parental authority. However, it is better to discuss the cause and effect.

First of all, pressure provides only a temporary solution to the situation. Although the teenager may indeed do what you want him or her to do now, this will further increase the distance between you. In the future, this approach will cause withdrawal and real rebellion.

Moreover, taking others at their word is rather a bad habit. When explaining why you need to do something a certain way, use arguments and evidence. A teenager needs to understand that adults can make mistakes. This will help them in the future.

Recognize that a teenager has the right to his or her own opinion

Don't tell your teenager "As long as you live in my house, you have to follow my rules," instead say "I understand your opinion, but I see this situation differently."

There comes a time when a child is no longer an extension of you, but becomes a separate person. Although formally the teenager still depends on you, one internal separation has already taken place. It may turn out that you look at the world differently. And that's okay, because there is another person in front of you who may have their own opinion.

All you have to do is explain your vision. But the teenager will decide whether or not it will resonate with him or her. If you are sure that your daughter or son is doing something wrong and ruining their life, try to find a compromise.

Be sure to share your feelings

Don't say, "You'll know when you grow up" or "It's a matter for adults." Instead, say, "I had such a difficult day, I'll tell you about it."

If you constantly try to be the perfect parent, you will quickly become a "boring adult" to your teenagers who is not interesting to listen to. You are probably annoyed by people who do everything right. Always be a human being who has weaknesses and can make mistakes. This way you will give the teenager a chance to show empathy.

Of course, you don't need to put problems on the child's shoulders or involve teens in all conflicts between adults. However, you can safely tell them that you had a fight with a colleague at work, or how your classmates made fun of you at school. Openness always generates a desire to share in return.

Respect your teen's personal space

Don't say, "There's nothing of yours here yet," instead say, "Can I borrow your calculator?"

If you want to get respect and attention from your child, you need to give it to them first. For example, learn to listen without interrupting. Before entering a teenager's room, knock. Always thank them for their help, even if you think they should have given it to you. Through your behavior, you will build the right model of communication that works better than rules and requirements.

It's also important to respect your teen's right to keep secrets. For example, you shouldn't ask about their phone password. You should only insist on transparency when it comes to the child's safety or health.

Always ask your teen for advice

Don't say, "He's too young to teach his parents," but rather say, "Can you help me choose the stylish jeans they're wearing now?"

This kind of communication will not be instructive, because even adults lose concentration and attention when they listen to mentoring speeches for a long time. Intersperse rules and requests for help so that the teenager can hear you.

Although you are still providing for your child's life, he or she is already feeling like an adult. And this can be used for good: for example, to make the teenager feel responsible for the household, etc.

Learn not to avoid uncomfortable topics

You shouldn't say, "You should be taught all this at school" or "Don't drink anything stronger than lemonade at the party." Instead, it's better to ask, "What is the attitude of your company towards drinking?"

Teenagers develop an interest in everything "adult" and forbidden by their parents quite early on. For example, they want to try alcohol. Don't think that if you don't talk about it, your child will never know about such drinks. On the contrary, it is better to discuss everything before the teenager drinks "for the company". Explain that alcohol is a part of adult life, but that strong drinks should be treated responsibly.

The main thing is not to overdo it with punishment if the teenager does return from the party a little drunk. Your attention should be focused on solving the problem. Of course, it is very important to have a serious conversation, but if you go too far, you may run the risk that the next time your teenager will simply hide from you.

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