Communicating with Adolescent Children

Every parent needs to learn how to communicate with his or her children effectively. This is especially important when your kids start growing up and their questions become more complex. Adolescent children are also very likely to test your boundaries, which is why you need to know what to say and how to say it when this happens. As a parent, you need to learn to speak precisely, clearly and to the point. Unfortunately, many parents do not know how to do that because most people are vague most of the time. Vagueness may be a great solution if you are a politician or if you work in a large corporation, but it can be quite hazardous in your relationship with your children.

When talking to your teens, you need to be very specific about the rules of your home and your wants and desires. At the same time, you need to keep in mind that your children do not have the same frame of reference as you do. This means that when you, for example, tell your child to go and clean his or her room, you need to be very specific about what you mean by a cleaning room. To someone, a clean room may mean clean floors and surfaces clean from dust. To others, it is not just cleanliness but also the organization of space.

Being a parent and having an authority is as much about what you say and do as it is about what you don’t say and don’t do. You can’t have power in your family if you constantly nag, complain or talk vaguely. If you are too long-winded during your communication with your children, their minds will start wandering all over and they won’t hear most of what you say, which is why the skill of communicating effectively is so important.

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