Raising a teenager requires top-notch communication skills, and as the parent, you will be the one required to display the better communication skills. Yet, as your teen engages in troubling behavior, it can be difficult to enjoy good communication with your teenager.
But it is important to persist in improving your communication as research has shown that teens which are more attached and communicate with their parents are healthier and more successful than peers who are not.
Create Natural Conversational Moments
One way to improve your communication with your teen is to create moments for natural conversation. Some such moments can be:
- While in the car between errands
- During sit-down meals
- When participating in a mutual hobby, such as painting
Set Aside One-On-One Time With Your Teen
You don’t have to rely on chance and opportunity to have conversations with your teen. Making sure you set aside regular one-on-one time with your teenager can accomplish several things at the same time.
- Your teen will know they are a priority – As parents are often busy, it can be hard for teens to feel comfortable asking for their parents’ time. By setting aside time just to be with them, you can send your teen a clear, positive message about their worth.
- Give you insight into your teen’s life – Modern teens lead a much different life than their parents did as teenagers. It is important that parents understand what their teens are struggling with and allow their teens to feel like they can confide in them.
- Allow for regular communication – If your teen knows they have regular times when they can talk to you, it can make it easier for them to share difficult things with you, rather than them trying to find an opportunity.
These positive things all work together to make your communications between you and your teenager more harmonious and positive overall.
Work With Therapists To Solve Family Disputes
When communication breaks down between parents and teens, sometimes the addition of a neutral third-party can help things back on track. A trained family therapist can facilitate sessions so family members can air grievances in a therapeutic manner. Also, individual therapy for both parents and/or their teens may be a good idea, depending on circumstances.
For more severely troubled youth who are not responding to regular talk and family therapy, a residential treatment center for troubled teens may help. The best residential treatment centers offer intensive therapy your teen as well as weekly family therapy sessions to help overcome family struggles.
Take Interest In Your Teen’s Concerns And Thoughts
The most important step of all is to take an interest in your teenager’s thoughts and concerns. It can be hard sometimes as parents often have much larger concerns. But when you teen knows you are genuinely interested in what they have to say and what is bothering them, they are far more likely to open up to you.
If you would like additional insight on what may help your troubled teen, contact us. Completely free of charge, we offer advice to parents on what course of action may help them with their teens and help bring the family back together.