e-book Parenting Todays Adolescent: Helping Your Child Avoid the Traps of the Preteen and Teen Years

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Tags: Parents Parents - Communication, identity and behaviour Young people - Young people basics Young people Young people - Communication and behaviour. Negative communication is a common cause of conflict between a parent and teenagers. Appreciate that your teenager has a different view of the world and respect their opinions. Establish reasonable house rules in consultation with your teenager. Teenage years can be difficult for many families.

Young people may develop ideas, values and beliefs that are different to those of their parents. This is part of the normal process of moving towards independence. Parents may struggle with how much independence they should allow their children at different ages and in different circumstances.

There is no prescription for this. Each young person is an individual and needs different advice. Communication with teenagers is different from communicating with younger children and can cause conflict and stress. If you follow some simple tips, it may help to improve communication with your teenager.

However, always seek professional advice if you are concerned about your family relationships. Issues that can affect communication with teenagers Adolescence is a time of rapid change, not just for the young person but for the parents too. As a parent, you need to help young people through this process.

Decisions can now be made together. Try to discuss issues to reach an outcome that you and your teenager can both accept. Try to see this as good thing. They are learning to be their own person. When children reach their teenage years, they start to make their own decisions. Sometimes they make the wrong ones. Try to be supportive and not criticise. They will hopefully! During this time of constant change, both parents and young people need to take time to care for themselves.

You need to show you value your teenager and their uniqueness — show them your unconditional love. General communication tips with teenagers The most important thing is to keep the lines of communication open. Suggestions include: Listen more than you speak — remember that we are all given two ears and one mouth. This is to remind us that we should spend twice as much time listening as talking. This is especially important when talking to teenagers, who may tell us more if we are silent long enough to give them the opportunity.

Teenagers and communication

Make time to spend together — teenagers are often busy with school, friends and other interests, but you can have a conversation with them over breakfast and dinner. Offer to take them to or pick them up from places; this will provide other opportunities for conversations. Give them privacy — teenagers need their own space. For example, knock before you go into their room. Keep up with their interests — listen to their music, watch their television shows with them and turn up to their sports practise sessions.

Continue to take an active interest in their life. Be a loving parent — adolescence is a time when young people often struggle with their changing sense of identity and need to feel loved. Tell them often. Demonstrate your love using whatever physical contact they are comfortable with. Celebrate their achievements, forgive their mistakes, listen to them when they have a problem and show interest in how they plan to solve it. Support them in their problem solving.

Adolescence | Psychology Today

Have fun — make time for leisure and laughter. Good feelings help to build good rapport. Negative communication with teenagers Conflict is inevitable when people with different views live together so the occasional clash with your teenager is normal and to be expected. However, ongoing conflict can undermine the relationship between a parent and a young person. Negative communication is a common cause of chronic conflict.

For example, well-meaning parents may criticise because they want their child to try harder. Turn negatives into positives You can change negative communication into positive communication. Suggestions include: Negotiate how you communicate with each other. Work out strategies to improve your communication. Brainstorm solutions together. Select what is important to argue over. A basic guideline is that safety issues, like not getting into a car with a driver who has been drinking, are always worth fighting over.

Other things, like cleaning up the messy bedroom, might be best to ignore — just keep the door shut!


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Offer constructive criticism. Acknowledge and celebrate their achievements. Update your opinion of their rights and freedoms You need to willingly give teenagers the right of more freedom when they are ready to behave responsibly. For every right they gain, there is a responsibility that goes with it.

Suggestions include: Establish reasonable house rules in consultation with your teenager. For example, decide together on an appropriate curfew for Saturday night. Be prepared to compromise when negotiating house rules with teenagers. Try to give ground on the least important issues.

Rules to Maintain Clean Room

Give good reasons, such as using the safety argument. Help them to take care and responsibility for themselves. For example, talk about issues such as drink spiking or safe sex. Browse the Better Health Channel for appropriate fact sheets. Read the fact sheets together and talk about any concerns you both may have. Listen more and talk less Take the time to listen — you may be surprised how much teenagers will confide in you if they feel they are really being listened to. Suggestions include: Really listen when they talk to you.

Avoid angry or impatient body language.

Appreciate that your teenager has a different world view. Treat them as you would a friend and respect their opinions. They may have very well-thought-through opinions that are just different to yours. Avoid sarcasm, criticism and yelling. Professional help There are services available to help you and your teenager to work through difficult issues. Your doctor is a good starting point for information and referral.