"Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after" - Anne Morrow Lindbergh Here is a step by step process for hindering communication with your teenager: 1) Don't listen to them Teenagers love to be interrupted. They thrive on it because they know that what you say is by far more important than their own thoughts. In fact, a lot of teenagers I counsel tell me they wish their parents would just stop listening to them all together, and shut down any dialogue and replace it with a parental monologue. Parent Tip: I firmly believe that a lot of people are unaware when they are interrupting another person. Interruption seems to be a cyclical pattern. Since no one listens to one another, they must interrupt the other person so they can be heard.
Give your teenager permission to tell you when you are interrupting. 2) Play their favorite game with them: Assumptions A teenager's favorite pastime is to play Assumptions with her parents. You remember how it is played: One person presupposes they fully know what the other person is thinking and feeling. There is no reason to inquire if his hypotheses are correct, because he can guarantee he knows what she is thinking. Sometimes, for fun of course, he will even tell her what she is thinking with the intro of "I know what you are going to say?.
" Parent Tip: Assumption is the end of communication in any relationship. No one can read another person's mind, or can know exactly what the other person is going to say. Listen intently to what your teenager is saying. 3) Name calling Earning respect with teenagers always starts by calling them names. This has been tried and true.
Usually the name calling begins when there is a heated argument that escalates and has been derailed from the original point of conversation. Parent Tip: Remember to stay focused on the original topic of discussion and need for conflict resolution. It will help promote conflict resolution and prevent getting off on tangents. 4) Yell at them This is one that really helps teenagers.
Not so much for the improved communication effect, but for sheer entertainment. Teenagers go over the moon when their parents raise their voice fifteen decibels above normal tone. Although, a lot have requested that their parents wait so they can go out and get some popcorn before the show starts. Just passing along the request.
Parent Tip: Do whatever you need to do to remain calm both for your sanity and theirs. Count to ten. Take a break and resume the conversation later.
Go for a brisk walk. 5) Beat a dead horse This skill is also known as the Lecture. It is probably the most popular and most implemented amongst parents. Teenagers usually will stop whatever they are doing so they don't miss out on this. The combined essentials of redundancy and endless time limit makes them cheer and keep coming back for more. They really enjoy this special quality time their parents take as an outlet to express their feelings and the intensity of their frustration.
Parent Tip: Prioritize the major issues and then say it. The longer you talk and review the same issues, the greater the chance they will tune out. Obviously, these are said with a humorous tone.
And it is probable that most of these occur in almost every household, if parents are honest. Communication may sound easy, but is difficult because it is easier to talk to a person, than to listen to one another. With some practice, you and your teenager can be on a new road to improved communication.
Are you looking for more common sense advice, practical solutions and even humor for parenting your teen? I invite you to check out http://www.parentingyourteenager.com/ where you will find tips for parenting teens, school, curfew, and more! Terre Grable is a Christian licensed professional counselor. She enjoys helping parents and teens become better friends when they feel like enemies.