There are plenty of common communication mistakes parents make. One of the biggest reasons teens shutdown when it comes to communicating with their parents is because they are fearful that the parent may freak out if they are not in agreement with whatever the teen has to say. This result of fear, stems from having had at least one experience where the parent freaked out so to speak. This freak out was in response to what their teen said and now the teen has held onto that one moment forever. The teen is refusing to give the parent another chance. This is by far the most common communication mistake parents make with their teen. Today we want to share some other mistakes parents are making when it comes to communicating with their teen, so that hopefully you won’t make the mistake of dismantling your ability to converse with your teen.
Common Communication Mistakes Parents Make with Teens
The number one issue that occurs when a parent is listening to their teen discuss peers, school and other happenings in their life is that the parent always tries to reply with some sort of life lesson. An example would be that your teen is discussing how a peer slapped another peer because they said something that was rude. As a parent, you want to reply with something that doesn’t condone the actions of your teen’s peer. You want to explain how violence won’t solve anything and furthermore it will lead to possibility of detention or worse, suspension. A teen doesn’t want to hear that. They simply are confiding in you as their trusted confidant regarding the situation. Learn to respond in a way that gets your teen to open up about how they feel regarding the actions, versus you telling them how they should think about that situation.
More communication mistakes parents make with their teens is minimizing the situation. We all know that teens are on the fast road to drama, it’s no wonder when they have hormones raging and are going through status changes in school amongst peers. Teens simply put, are quite dramatic about the tiniest of situations and as a parent you want to minimize the drama. Stop minimizing your teen’s dramatics, learn to allow your teen to dramatically vent to you because you will start to learn more about their life. If you continue to be the ear that listens versus the mouth that speaks too much it helps to not create a teen that recoils from communicating with you.
Parents make the mistake of disrespecting their teen quite often, without even realizing it. This leads to major miscommunication and just like the other mistakes listed here, enables your teen to withdraw from further communicating their concerns with you. A parent must be aware of their tone, body language and word usage when communicating with a hormonal teenager. It’s just part of parenting during this challenging stage. Learn to step back, truly hear what your teen is saying and then be consciously aware of the tone set forth in your response.
If you start to implement all of the strategies we listed here today, you will soon be on your way to having open communication with your teen. Watch as they start to make good decisions on their own because they feel free to do so.