How to talk to your teenager- tips for better communication

Teenagers face many changes physically, mentally, and emotionally as they develop into young adults. In order for them to grow up they must begin to separate from their parents. This process is probably as painful for them as it is for parents, even if it doesn’t appear that way. As adolescents mature, they experience:

  • an increased need for autonomy
  • a desire for more privacy
  • a greater investment in their peers
  • a need to try on different identities
  • huge physiological changes

While all of this is occurring, parents often experience their own developmental crisis. Getting older and losing a sense of personal prowess and control. When teenagers challenge their authority, it’s common as a parent to make a last ditch effort to gain control of the situation. Unfortunately, this typically backfires as emotions run high. So, how do we talk with these seemingly unapproachable teenagers- the kids we used to know and love? And how do we get them to open up and respond?

Christine Carter, Ph.D. offers a two part article on ways you can decrease your teenager’s resistance to parental advice and other ways to get through to your adolescent. She discusses the idea of “motivational interviewing” as a way to engage with adolescents to make them feel heard, understood, and, ultimately, receptive to our wisdom.” (Carter March 25, 2013)

How to Influence Your Teen, Part 1

Ten ways to decrease their resistance to your wise advice. . . .

Influencing Teens and Tweeners, Part 2

Five more ways to get through to adolescents. . . .

Good luck!

-Turning Point Assessments


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