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It’s difficult to raise teenagers these days. They are going through many changes, trying to make decisions on their own and find their way in life. By learning effective ways to communicate with your teenager, you can make this time in their lives easier for both you and for them.

Currently teenagers face many of the same problems that we as parents did while growing up, only it seems that today’s kids have to grow up even faster than ever. They have many pressures that they face and they seem to be facing them at an earlier and earlier age. Should they become sexually active? What should they do if their friends offer them drugs or cigarettes or alcohol? Who are the right people to hang out with in school? The ability to communicate with their parents is probably the last thing on their mind. This article offers some tips on how to talk to your teenager.

Set Clear Rules

As teenagers grow up and mature, it helps to have clear rules and boundaries in their household. Whether you are a single parent or have a partner to help you raise your children, kids need structure. For example, your teenager needs to know that certain actions will not be tolerated. They cannot stay out until all hours of the night, they need to abide by a curfew, they will not call others names or become aggressive or violent. They will not drink alcohol or do drugs. Rules are very important and help set the scene for living in society when your teenager gets older.

Be A Good Example

It is very difficult to tell your teenager how to act and what you expect, when you may not be setting a good example yourself. You need to practice what you preach. If you want your child to be honest, they will learn honesty from you, their parent. Keep in mind, though, that while it may be important to tell your teenager the truth about things that you might have experienced when you were their age, you need not give them every gory detail. No need for information overload.

Don’t Talk When You Are Angry

This is probably the cardinal rule in any exchange between two or more people when emotions are flaring. Do not try not to have an important discussion with your teenager when either of you is angry or upset. If you are upset when you begin the conversation, you may have difficulty in not getting even more upset as the conversation continues. If you begin to get upset while you are trying to talk with your teenager, call a time-out. Go for a quick walk to clear your head. Count to ten. Both of you will be able to think better when you aren’t angry or upset. You can always continue the discussion when you are in a better frame of mind.

Make Time for Your Teenager

In this busy world it is hard to make time for the people that you care about. However, this may be a necessary task if you want to effectively communicate with your teen. If there is a special activity that you share with your teenager it would be a great opportunity to talk with him or her in a relaxed atmosphere. It could be going for a walk, to a movie, or sharing a special hobby that you both enjoy. You might even be able to spend some time chatting while driving in the car. Letting your teen know that you care enough to spend time with them will encourage open communication. You are making a connection with them.

Listen To What They Have To Say

Teenagers feel better when they think that they are being heard. They feel like a valid being. There is a difference, though, between listening to what your teenager has to say and offering to give them advice. Offer to listen to them if they ever want to talk – about anything! Let them know that you are there to offer support. Remember that you need to keep up your end of the bargain, though. Listening means just that – listening! If they want advice, they will surely ask for it.

Now that you have some simple guidelines on how talk to your teenager, don’t stop here! There are many articles and books that have been written on this subject. The more informed you are, the easier it will be to talk to your teenager. Good luck!