Teaching 8 Core Values at Eagle Ranch Academy, Communicating With Your Teen comes in at number four. Our goal with teaching Positive Parenting Tips & Tricks is to help parents keep their kids on track to becoming a good person, with great values.

Communicating as a Family

As parents, it is important to work with professionals to determine whether treatment is necessary and then transition families to and from treatment. There is a time where deciding to send your child away isn’t needed. I believe in treating the whole family. The teenager may be the one out of control, but the family communication and relationship always play a part in the acting out teen behavior. 

Communication with your teen can be what feels like a never-ending battle. It seems as though it is a one-sided conversation. They are trying everything possible to get the answer they want, and you are trying to decide on something they want. Teenagers will badger, sulk, plead, become aggressive, or even run to get their way. Parents tend to get backed into a corner when confronted with these communication styles until they finally give in. 

Communicating vs Manipulating

One of the problems is this is not communication; this is manipulation. Teenagers are very good at figuring out when, where, and how to use these manipulation styles to get their way. Often in the parent-teen relationship, the communication has become so broken that the only thing that is said to each other is the generalities of life, for example; how was school today? Are you doing your homework? Did you clean your room? Why can’t I go to the concert? I am sleeping at Jenny’s tonight.

And when the answer from you is no, or try to get them to do homework or chores, let the badgering begin. It is easy to get caught up in this cycle and can be very difficult to stop. 

There aren’t any tricks to communication; there is only talking and listening. Teenagers do need their parent’s time and ear. They are just like the rest of us and want to be heard and understood. They need to sit down with mom, dad, or both and know they can talk and be heard.

As parents, we need to spend the time and listen to what our kids are saying. 

Think Before You React

As parents, we tend to get fearful of what is being said and then react to that fear. This reaction is where the communication breakdown comes in. If mom becomes reactive and upset at Jenny talking to mom about boys and sex, Jenny will never trust mom to talk about this stuff, and she will resort to peers who will lead her astray. 

Teens need to hear what their parents have to say, they may still make choices we don’t like as parents, but it is always better if they can talk openly with their parents and gain an adult perspective about their problems through in life. 

“Positive Parenting Tips & Reminders:”

Remember to listen and understand what your teen is trying to tell you. If you need to, repeat what you heard to make sure you know what they are saying. This will improve your communication and strengthen your relationship. 

You are the Expert on Your Child

Are you perfect? No. Do you make mistakes? Yes. Can you learn something today that will help you be a more effective parent? Absolutely! 

Hold them close, but don’t smother them. Love them, but don’t enable them. And, keep it simple with the basic, but sound rules that you enforce consistently. Take care, and use “Positive Parenting!”