Communication with tweens and teens- Do’s and Don’ts
Communication is the main ingredient in any relationship and when you have tweens and teens at home it’s important to know how to communicate with them. Dealing with this delicate age is not the only the toughest but tricky job for parents.
During this age when they are not only pushing up their boundaries, they will learn new things and more important throw tantrums too. Dealing with these tantrums and communication with tweens and teens need to be very easy going and mixed with some good tricks.
Now, if you ask me what tricks..trust me I am also learning daily but found some great tips which I am sharing here. Now, this is not a prescribed prescription as like every illness needs different medication, every child is different, and so for them, there would be different sorts of parenting advice and tips.
Why Good Communication with tweens and teens are important?
As I believe and strongly advocate that for the good foundation of parenting it’s important to have good communication with your child at every stage of life starting as a toddler till adult.
It’s quite normal that when they enter this phase of life as a tween and teen they talk less to parents as they sense the feel of independence and feel getting matured and can go ahead taking up their decisions. But, this is the time we need to make them the difference between being responsible and being independent and that could be only possible with good communication with them.
How your tween and teen want to communicate?
* Your kids need your ears: For having a healthy and trusting parent-child relationship it’s important to understand the first and foremost thing every tween or teen need is your valuable time to share their version of talk and situation.
* They look for more patience and less advice: As I mentioned earlier too this is the age when they are exploring new things and feel more independent now while communicating with you whether sharing their day to day activity or any other things, they expect you listen to them with patience and give them less advice, which we as a parents have to give them but how that I will share here.
* Secret and Privacy: Now when they are coming to you to confront or share their things, problems or anything, they expect that if they want it to be kept secret and maintain their privacy. Respect this, it’s important that they share and communicate with you so that you can guide them but maintain their privacy and secrets.
7 Watch out before you communicate– Do and don’t
1. DO Understand: Like communication, understanding is the second ingredient that will make this relationship stronger. Whenever you are interacting try to understand your child first, try o understand even if you don’t get why they are reacting differently.
Might be some issue which seems not important to you, would be making a lot more different for them in this age.
DON’t Assume or read their mind: If you don’t understand certain behavior change or less communication or even they are not doing things according to house rules. First, try to understand rather making or assuming some point or even reading their mind.
Week’s ago my daughter returned back from school and took my phone and without having lunch or anything else made a call to her friend and spoke to her for more than 15 min. As a mother, I was definitely getting angry and furious that after spending so many hours in school why she is on phone before finishing her lunch and then when I spoke to her she told “there was some fight with her friend in school and she doesn’t want to carry this forward as she realized her mistake in bus and want to say sorry. So, she did the first thing to call her and say sorry”. I felt so proud that she is taking care of her small relationship and understanding it. I could have scolded her to finish lunch, change uniform and doing other things first but in that way, I would be setting up the wrong example of not understanding her and her action.
So, when you are going to communicate understand your child before making any assumption.
2. DO Listen: It’s important to give them open ears and listen to them, now that really sounds easy and many of you will say “I do listen” but do you really. Listening means let them finish their story and their thoughts. Just make sure when they talk look in their eyes and show interest in their versions. Your opinion or your version on the same topic might differ but remember to give them equal opportunity to give their opinions and thoughts.
Don’t try to show impatient body language when they are talking to you. Don’t do multitasking while you are communicating. It’s right that your thoughts might be different and you don’t agree to whatever they say, listening doesn’t mean you agree to their every thought but remember if you don’t listen respectfully they will stop talking, sharing and communicating.
3. Do Appreciate them when they are sharing their achievements, might be it’s just a drawing right picture which might be a big achievement for them just show your happiness, celebrate their every small achievement. Tell them how they made you proud. They might have not scored 100/100 but scoring 75/100 would be his achievement, praise them that time and tell them to encourage them to tell that you know their potential is much more than this. It will only boost them to do much better and they know that you are there to support.
Don’t criticize, Don’t compare…your child is unique and one of his own kind remember never to compare with others and never criticize them. Just stop sarcasm, criticism and yelling.
4. Do trust them, trust is one of the important factors. Now when you are talking and sharing views. If they come up to you with certain thoughts trust them to show them and talk about it. Now, you might feel setting up a few house rules which are perfectly fine and I advocate that and feel it’s important to set some rules for everyone at home. Now when you are setting up those rules and saying NO to certain rules which might your child want to be on the list. Don’t just say NO to his demand give proper reason tell them why you are not agreeing to that rule and saying NO. Build that trust between both of you that your child doesn’t need to look out for trust and question you.
Don’t be a dictator, now you are setting up some rules and conveyed them but as they are pushing the boundaries is quite natural and now your time explain to them why you are setting up some rules at home.
5. Do Control your emotions: While you must be thinking so many things we have to do but that’s the job of parenting, now you understand them, listen to them but it may happen sometimes while listening to you just lose your temper or get angry or emotional, please do control. Your child might be making wrong or bad choices, hold on your emotion and guide them. One best therapy that works in this situation with me is reverse counting 10 to 1 and then I start guiding or talking to her.
Don’t argue or communicate until you both are calm. This is the thumb rule of any communication, don’t talk, don’t ague until both of you are not in a real good mood to talk and solve any issue. So if in the middle of a conversation you or your child is upset or not in the mood just leave that subject and talk later with a cool and calm mind. Communication with tweens and teens should be only done with a cool mind.
6. Do Observe: As a parent, you need to be very observant and check out the change in behavior which is not normal as kids go through changes with mood, energy and other things but if you find changes which don’t look normal and suspicious talk to them calmly and understand the problem.
Don’t be judgemental by yourself and make an assumption, talk to them and remember don’t feel shy accepting your mistake, if you notice any changes because of your behavior or talk and you feel yes you were wrong to do accept your mistake in this way they will also learn to accept their mistakes.
7. Do eat together, my dad always said and we have this home rule since my childhood and now I carry this to eat meals together, as when you eat together as a family you share totally different bond with your kid.
Don’t forget to give a hug daily to your tween and teen as this is really the best way to show love.
Last but never least appreciate your kid as they will show a different view of the world with their opinion and views.
It’s not rocket science it’s just Communication with tweens and teens with little sensitivity and understanding.
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