Good Ways To Foster Communication With Your Teen
by: Adwina Jackson
The teenage years are confusing for parents and teens alike.
Kids that once seemed open and full of sharing suddenly
As a parent, your primary concern may be fostering
communication with your teen. Most parents struggle to get
something other than a one word response from their
It’s important to understand that you have to be delicate
when approaching your teenager. You want to engage your child
in conversation without putting them on the defense or causing
them to withdraw.
While this can be challenging, the rewards of doing this are
great. There are a few key strategies you can adopt to ensure
that you foster strong communication and good ties with your
Ask Indirect Questions to Facilitate a Conversation. If you
ask your teenager a direct question you’ll probably end up with
a one or two word response. Your goal should be encouraging
them to talk about things from a broader perspective. To engage
your child in a conversation about a particularly issue,
consider asking them about something related but not directly
tied to the subject you are getting at. You’ll help them ease
into a discussion of what is on their mind.
Talk With Your Teen About Their Interests. Take an active
interest in your teens interests. If they are doing something
you don’t know anything about, consider learning more about it
so you can ask them interesting and exciting questions about
their hobby or activity.
Listen to Your Teen and Avoid Lecturing. Most teens will shy
away from conversation if their expectation from that lecture
is simply a lecture. You want your teens to know that you are
interested in what they have to say. Withhold judgment at first
and allow them to speak their mind.
Pay Attention to Non-Verbal Language. Your teen can send you
many messages about what is on their mind through their
non-verbal communication. You can also engage them in
communication by putting your arm around them or patting them
on the back, encouraging them to open up to you.
Remember your goal should be sending the message to your
teen that you are providing a safe and nurturing environment
where they can share their deepest concerns, fears and
interests without fear of immediate reprimand or judgment.
Always take the time to accept your teen’s feelings even if
you don’t agree with them. You have to listen to your teen if
you want them to open up. Avoid jumping in and offering
suggestions immediately. Instead encourage your teen to look
for answers in a positive way.
You can also encourage your teen to share more by sharing
with them daily tidbits and insights into your life. Consider
occasionally asking their advice or opinion on things.
You’d be surprised how much easier it is to get teens to
open up once you adopt a few time tested strategies. Provide
your children with a nurturing and loving environment, and they
will more easily welcome you into their life.
About The Author
Adwina Jackson is a wife and mother of a
young boy. She's also the editor of Inspiring
Parenting, an online source of valuable
parenting information. Please visit http://www.InspiringParenting.com
for helpful and free parenting info. Observe
your children's health, growth and
development by clicking the website.