I think it is a good thing I wasn’t just handed a teenager to parent! Learning to navigate the emotional teen waters and keep lines of communication open can be difficult. I had a friend that assured me when I had my first and I worried about these things, that I would learn and grow with my child and in turn be more equipped to handle each stage as it came. She was right.
Ways to Improve Communication With Your Teen
While I certainly don’t even come close to knowing everything, or am fabulous and handling all situations, I do feel as though I have grown and changed as she has, and just that has helped me feel less anxious and more equipped.
- Don’t Be Emotional – I find that the “A” number one thing I can do oh so badly is keep my emotions in check. If you are running off raging about something they did or didn’t do, or get all weepy and sad, or even if you are too enthusiastic, you can send your teen running for their rooms!
- Listen – This a tough one for me as I like to talk and I tend to be the alpha in everything. I work hard to stop what I am doing when my teen is talking, even if it doesn’t seem all that important. YOUR ATTENTION MATTERS! They still want to be heard and counted and loved.
- Pick Your Battles – Sometimes it just isn’t worth it. You can nit pick at every little thing. They won’t do everything the way you do, nor should they have to. For instance, I can’t see my daughter’s bedroom floor. She actually calls her floor “the closet”. UGH! But in the grand scheme of things I have learn to let this go as a daily battle and instead save my stance for something more important, like the treatment of her siblings.
- Try To See It Through Their Eyes – While you don’t have to condone or agree with the things your teen may say or do, try to see it from their perspective. Giving them even a little element and understanding, a recognition of their feelings, can go a long way.