Cindy Gullo, LCPC - Therapist & Counselor
The Blog

5 Tips for Communicating with Your Teen and How Counseling Could Help

Your child’s teen years can be a difficult time for not just them, but you as well. While they are going through immense changes, you may find it hard to communicate or connect with them. At such a detrimental time in their lives, you must still provide ample support and parenting to help them become the best versions of themselves. But when connecting with your teen becomes difficult, how can you properly communicate with each other?

Upset young man talking with his father.

Below you will find a list of tips and tricks to not only help you better communicate with your teen, but also the benefits of using therapy or counseling to create a healthy relationship with your growing teen.

1. Try to Control Your Emotions

When things get heated between you and your teen, it is easy to let your emotions take over. But when your child is outraged or says hurtful things, it is important to remember that it is not a reflection of you. And much like every other moment of parenting, your job is to calmly help them understand a better way. When you remove emotions, it is easier to look at the situation like a business transaction.

2. Do Not React While in Anger

This is extremely hard to do sometimes, especially when your teen has pushed your buttons, but it is important to communicate within a healthy environment. If you are both upset or angry, you cannot effectively communicate with each other and are bound for a disastrous encounter. Instead, allow for both of you to have the time necessary to calm down and think about what you’d like to say- before you say it.

3. Treat Your Teen with Mature Respect

When you speak, you expect to be heard. While your teen is still responsible for providing you with respect, it is important that you show them the same kindness. When your teen wants to talk to you, listen and give them your full attention. Try not to block the line of communication between you and your teen, and never limit the moments you’re willing to talk. Encourage your teen to talk to you whenever they want to.

4. Do Not Lead the Conversation to Trouble

As a parent, you may sometimes approach your teen with an accusatory or judgmental attitude. While you may be upset or already know the answers to the questions you are about to ask, still remember that your teen will react to how you begin the conversation. Provide a conversation that begins without judgment or accusations, and you may wind up with a more effective conversation.

5. Praise Your Teen and Let Them Know They’re Heard

Many parents shower their children with praise when they are little kids, but teens need to hear it just as much. In fact, your teen’s self-esteem is extremely vulnerable during this time in their life and they still require encouragement. When your teen is experiencing a certain emotion, it’s important to empathize and be understanding. Be positive and encouraging, even when you don’t think your teen needs it.

Try following the tips you’ve seen here today to communicate with your teen more effectively. And when you need help, professional therapists and counselors are trained to mediate and work through trouble-areas within your relationship. To help you create a healthy, strong relationship with your teen based on trust, communication, and positivity, consider a counseling session with a professional therapist.