Parent around the world struggle to communicate with their teenagers. The main issue parents struggle with is to get their teenager to listen to them and do what is asked of them. Most of the time your teenager will either ignore you or react in a disrespectful way, leaving the parent angry and frustrated.

To understand communication, we need to know what it really means. It’s simply the act of transferring information from one place, person or group to another. Every communication involves (at least) one sender, a message and a recipient. These include our emotions, the cultural situation, the medium used to communicate, and even our location. Each piece of communication involves a personal meaning and understanding of the knowledge we have towards that topic. Some of your teenagers may have a different understand than you do as parents.

When communicating with your teenagers you need to bear these facts in mind.

As a Life Coach specialising in helping parents’ problem solve with their teenagers, I do a lot of research, listening to pod casts and read as many interesting books as possible. A few days ago, I came across this amazing Physiologist Dr. Paul Jenkins. He has a series of YouTube videos on how to raise well rounded teenagers and I want to share his top 5 tips on effective parenting.

  • Your No.1 job as a parent is to love your children unconditionally, no matter what happens.
  • When you communicate with your teenager try and limit what you are saying to 3 – 4 sentences.
  • Be consistent
  • Respect their opinions
  • Harping on and nagging doesn’t help you

There are 3 stages of maturity that teenagers grow through

  1. Selfishness and fighting to have things their way. Your job as parent is to apply consequences that do not require their cooperation. For example, remove the gaming console or tablet, a consequence that they don’t have control over.
  2. Cooperation, negotiation and peace. Your job as a parent is to apply consequences of negotiation. For example, if you clean your bedroom and take out the trash, I’ll extend your screen time by 30 minutes – make a trade.
  3. Fulfilling their responsibilities and taking initiative. Your job as a parent is be approachable so their children want to sharing details of their lives and even ask you for suggestions to solve a problem.

3 Rules to use when controlling your battle fights:

  1. Avoid the fight or subject – eventually your teenager will come to you and open up.
  2. If you can’t win the fight – avoid it. This shows them that their bad behavior won’t ruin your day.
  3. You decide the topic of discussion – make sure you make it clear that you would like their opinions, but the final decision is made by the parents.

He leaves us with some insightful words “When parents are smiling – teens are thinking”, “When parents are calm – teens are on their toes”.

For more support visit www.redthinking.co.za and book your free consultation. We are here to teach your teenagers to live a happy and positive life.