It’s one thing to hear the emotions from your teenager, but it’s a completely other story when you let those roller coaster of teenage emotions hit deep within your heart. Teenagers come with their own book of rules, and it’s a parenting nightmare to figure out how to communicate effectively with them.
Reality is communication is a learned skill, regardless of how old a family member is. With your teens, it’s no different. A learning experience in communication that will build or ruin the bond you once had with this child. Here are some effective ways to communicate with your teen so that you both can enjoy this period in life:
Turn off Your Parent Alarm
There’s nothing that will shut down a teen from talking faster than a parental response to their situation. A teen wants their parent to be the ear to listen, shoulder to cry on and the heart to feel compassion. Teens do not want to hear a life lesson each time they open up to you nor do they want you to actually attempt to solve their problems. Turn off your parent alarm when listening to your teen talk.
Do Not Encourage Dramatics
If your teen is going on and on sounding all dramatic do not over emphasize the response to them as this will only encourage them to get more dramatic. Listen to them, and if they are going off the deep end of being overly dramatic do not reply. Just smile and nod. This lets them know you are listening but at the same time you are not making the situation worse.
I have been guilty of this, it’s a learning curve this whole parenting a teenager gig. My daughter shuts down faster than you can imagine if I start to lecture her amidst a conversation that was important to her. I have learned to stop lecturing; your teen is old enough to know right from wrong. Be confident in the fact that you raised them right and let them figure out solutions on their own.
Enjoy the Ride
Nothing is better in life than watching what you raised for the last 13 years turn into their own person. There will be days where you cringe, cry and smile but it’s all worth it because you have lasted this long with your child without them being totally damaged. Enjoy the ride of teenage years; they really can be a bowl of fun!