Talking to a teenager may seem like you are attempting a conversation with someone from another planet. They are children trying their best to be grown ups. Communication during this period of time is just as important as any other time in their development, but it will take more work on your end than it has in the past to have an open and production conversation with a teen.
Here are some tips how to talk to teenagers:
- Be connected with the teenager – one thing that continuously a run through a teenager’s mind is the need to belong to be connected to what is going on. Find some activities and conversation topics that you can both participate in and enjoy.
- Stop, look and listen – it is easy to get wrapped up in everything else, excluding the teenager. Take a minute to stop what you are doing or thinking and look for signs that he has something to say.
- Set a goal together – it is natural to want to tell a teenager what they should not be doing. Instead, talk through any issue, good or bad that may come up and set goals on how to proceed together.
- Know when to apologize and then follow through – apologies are not just for other adults, co-workers and strangers you pass on the street. It you have done something that you need to apologize for a loud outburst or an inconsiderate opinion, for instance apologize to the teen.
- Show a respect to your teen to teach him to respect you too. One of the major problems that can arise with teenagers is an apparent lack of respect. Evaluate how respectful you are actually being with the teen and show him the courtesy and respect that you would like to be treated with.