Parenting is difficult. Easing conversation makes it easier to cope. When parents and teens have good communication, it will make the difficult times easier to manage. There are many books on the subject. Listed at the end of the article are books that can be found at the San Antonio Public Library. Here are a few suggestions:
Giving a compliment is the easiest form of conversation and will build a good relationship with your teenager.
Stay Interested in what your Child is doing
Find something to praise in what your child is doing especially if they are going through a time of getting in trouble more often. When praised, they can form habits based on the praise they receive.
Master the Hard Conversations
During times of disagreements, it is important to remain calm. Stay respectful to your teen even when you are being disrespected. Avoid lectures, anger and nagging. If you are able to maintain an atmosphere where you both want to be there, the conversation will have better results.
By showing your child that they are important enough to be listened to, you will be able to guide them to solve problems for themselves. Be sure and stop what you are doing and listen to what is being said.
Use Affirmative, Positive Body Language
Facial expression and bodily movement (eye contact, smiles, hugs, touching the hand or shoulder…) are general codes of acceptance and appreciation. This body language amplifies meanings that surpass verbal language.
Don’t ask “How was your day?” Ask specific questions and you will be more likely to receive responses. Ask “What did you think when they said _________________?”
Don’t Always Try to Win
Realize your teen can have a different opinion than you. Debating will probably help them create a stronger stance on their point of view.
Communication may start with single syllable responses, but with continued practice the conversations improve. I have seen this happen! Good communication not only strengthens relationships but builds teens into happy, healthy adults. You will have developed a bonding relationship!
Helpful Books you can borrow from your San Antonio Public Library:
- Staying Connected to your Teen by Michael Riera
- How to Talk so Teens will Listen and Listen so Teens will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish
- The Teen Code: How to Talk to us about Sex, Drugs, and Everything Else by Rhett Godfrey
- How to Talk to Teens about Really Important Things by Charles Schaefer and Theresa Foy DiGeronimo
- How to say it to Teens: Talking about the most Important Topics of their Lives by Richard Heyman
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