COMMUNICATION - Talking With Teens
By Annette Fuson author of “Straight Talk for Teenage Girls”
1. Be aware of their moods. Catch them at a “good” time.
2. Talk while doing other things together: riding in the car, pushing cart at Walmart, washing the car, cleaning the garage, cooking, dishes or doing the laundry.
3. Discuss TV shows, articles in magazines, newspaper or books (Straight Talk for Teenage Girls)
4. Tell about stories you have heard about other people, where you want to make a point. “I read……..or I heard…….”
5. When discussing, use the character’s name in the story. Ask: “What could be worrying Mira? What could happen to her? What could she do?” LISTEN. Don’t interrupt! After listening to her ideas, say, “If I were Mira, I might be concerned about…..or I might try…” Using the other person’s problem, you can discuss without arguing. The parent can incorporate what they want the teen to hear without defensiveness.
6. Ask the teens’ opinion or suggestions.
7. Role play if possible.
8. Watch your voice. Try to remain calm. Discuss like you would with a friend.
9. If the teen asks to talk, be sure and set aside time for them only. Don’t be hurried.
10. Act interested as you LISTEN to what they say and feel.
11. Look them in the eyes and smile. Watch what your face is saying.
12. Touch or hug them when possible.
13. When talking about things, “plant seeds”. Incorporate things you want them to hear as you discuss other people or situations. “Too bad they didn’t think to …….Maybe if they had tried…….I would probably say, try…..” Talk matter-of-factly as you give the ideas that you want heard.
14. Everyone has a right to an opinion. LISTEN to each other. Each person should have reasons for their opinion. Discuss them.
15. If there is to be a punishment, ask the teen what they suggest. Make the punishment fit the crime. If you threaten, then stick to it! Do what you say you will. Don’t back down. You loose respect and the battle. Remember, YOU are the parent. You set the rules! You are in charge.
16. Treat them with the same respect that you want and deserve.
Communication is the MOST important factor to having a decent relationship with a teen.
Parenting is the hardest, but the most rewarding job you will ever have! GOOD LUCK!
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