How to b e a Good Communicator to Your Teens
Parents are usually the first people that their children would go up to when there is a problem. Sadly, most teens don't think this is a good idea because they feel that mom or dad will not understand what they are going through. For that, parents should learn how to be a good communicator, especially when their child is already a teen.
The first thing you should do, as a parent, is to know how to empathize with what your teen is going through. It wasn't long that you were once a teen and also faced these problems. Put yourself in their shoes and offer the best advice you can give.
If the problem your teen has is something that you have never experienced before, try to be flexible and open-minded. If there is something you don't understand, ask questions so they know you are interested in whatever they have to say.
Another reason why teens don't approach their parents if there is a problem is that they are not available or accessible. They are too busy with work or have some other “important” things to do. As a parent, you have to be responsible enough to find time for them by talking and being with them any chance you get.
If the teen asks you something, give a good answer. If possible, explain and justify it. Doing so will teach them good values they may also pass down to their children. The only trick to that is being consistent because some rules could be bended; if you do that, be careful because this could lay precedence to other things in the future.
The parent should also be able to discipline the teen if they have done something bad. Rather than saying something you might regret in the future, count to 10 or walk it off for a while so you will be able to say something objective.
Should the teen ask permission about going out and you don't feel like saying “yes”, tell them that you will think about if for a while before you give an answer. This will more or less give the teen a sign of what you will tell them later on.
The most effective way of being a good communicator with a teen is knowing when to admit you are wrong and say you’re sorry. Parents also make mistakes. The point is, we all make mistakes and learning to admit them shows that pride does not get in the way of knowing what is right and wrong.
The only way to be a good communicator with your teen is practice. Things get more challenging as they grow older and this will always be the case no matter how old they get.