In these times when everyone is very rushed, it’s more important than ever to take the time to talk with your children.
This is especially the case with teenagers who may be going through some challenges.
Timing your talk is critical. Choose a time when your child seems most receptive.
Here are some quick, practical, teen-tested phrases for adults to use successfully in communicating with adolescents:
- First, say nothing for a while — just listen.
- Then say: “I’ve heard you say…” and paraphrase your child’s point.
- Ask: “Is that accurate?”
- “Say: “What were your options or choices of action?”
- Ask: “How were others affected by your actions?”
- Then ask: “How could you have handled things differently?”
This sequence of comments – listening, paraphrasing, confirming, asking about options, focusing on others, and then reaching a good conclusion— are all positive ways to communicate with a teenager.