With attitudes changing and profound questions arising, teenagers can often hide their worries in fear of being told they’re wrong for their way of thinking. Parents in particular may not always get straightforward answers if their teenagers believe they will not understand.
In order for teenagers to feel comfortable expressing their worries and emotions, it’s essential for parents to create an atmosphere of acceptance and understanding when communicating with teenagers.
As a parent, it is important to realize that both you and your teenager are from two different worlds with two distinct perspectives, which leads to the disconnect in communication. Because of this, parents must first listen to what their teens have to say without judgement or reaction, even though adolescents can be prone to exaggeration.
What they need is a calm and rational presence. Otherwise, teenagers can become defensive and dig their heels in the ground to avoid communicating openly. Even if you do not agree with what they’re saying, it’s important to begin every interaction with understanding.
Even though an adolescent may seem defensive, parenting a teenager requires far more than any sort of corporal punishment. Anger shifts attention away from the root problem and can instead cause teenagers to reflect this anger back on to their parents.
And while your first instinct when communicating with teenagers may be to sit them down and explain how you believe they should handle the situation, the dreaded “lecture” can, in many cases, seem condescending or even hostile. By showing faith in their abilities and choices, you show them how you’re not angry that they may be struggling but that you simply want to help.
The renowned books and webinars from Roy Petitfils can show how to open up these dialogues, as well as how to share your point of view without condescension, be it using anecdotes or sharing your own relative life experiences. When parenting a teenager, the main goal should always be to assist them in thinking for themselves, allowing them to feel they once again have control over their world.