Many parents struggle with understanding and dealing with their teenage children. At this age, it becomes more challenging for parents because their teens wants to be independent and it’s difficult to get them to do what you want.
Dr. Rola Tomori, a clinical psychologist, says that the most important thing to do to get across to your teen is by being an effective communicator.
According to her, you have to be the kind of person that sets rule that are fair, provide structure for the teenager and for the other children in the home, provide a leadership role and communicate in a way that makes it easier for the teenager to comply.
Dr. Rola, in her vlog, lists ways you can effectively communicate with your teenager and how to confront the challenges that comes with communicating effectively.
Talk to your teenager in a clear and distinct manner: You don’t need to make your voice so loud because you come across as defensive, as if you expect it to be a battle and you don’t want to sound so passive in a way that your teenager doesn’t take you seriously. You wanna speak clearly and distinctively as if you’re having a normal conversation because you’re acting as if you expect your teenager to comply with what you’re saying, so, there’s no need to be argumentative or passive about it.
Speak in a simple and clear manner: Don’t give an too many instructions in a few minutes and then it becomes difficult for your teenager to know which one of them they should carry out first. If possible, break it down so that you can monitor to see if that behaviour you’re asking your teenager to engage in is actually being done because part of being an effective parent is when you ask your teenager to do something, you are going to go back to check to see f what you ask them to do is being done and if they do it, you’re gonna reward them with praise and if they don’t do it, they’re gonna be consequences for it.
Tell your teenager to repeat back to you what you told him/her: Just so you’re sure your teenager understands what you’re saying. Make sure both of you understands what the conversation is about and thank your teenager for listening.
Make sure you have full eye contact: if there’s TV blasting, tablets on, put that aside, tell your teenager to put theirs aside and tell them you want to have a conversation with them. It doesn’t have to take a long time because you’re gonna be directive and you want focus.
Mean what you say, say what you mean: Make sure you come across in a way that your teenager understands that you’re not just saying it. If your teenager is trying to get ou to change your mind or not to do what you’ve decided you want them to do, stick to your guns, be consistent.
Challenges you may face in trying to communicate this way
Listen to your teenager: Your teenager may want to counter what you told them, tell the teenager to finish what you’re asking them to do and when they’re done, you’re going to give them audience. Give the teenager the opportunity to meet with you after they’ve done what you asked them to do. Put your phone down and listen to them.
Explain why you’re communicating differently: Tell your teenager, “ I may not have been talking to you this way before, but at this point in time, I want to take your feelings seriously and I want you to take mine seriously. I want us to start listening to each other better, so this is the way in which I’m beginning to engage with you.”
Be consistent with your children: Make sure that the rules you apply to this child is consistent across the board. We know that children are different so you’re not going to have the same directive for each child, but try to adopt this method of being addressing your communication with all children.
Let teen know they are responsible for their behaviour: Don’t make it look like you’re the only one in control of this, ‘you are in control, my son/daughter, what happens to you, if you follow my directions.’