Fixing Broken Communication with your Teenager

“The Terrible Twos” should be renamed to “The Terrible Teens” with the way some teenagers act towards their parents in this day and age. The even bigger problem is, the more the parents fight back, the further the teenager rebels and that is not a situation that anyone wants to be in under one roof. For teenagers, the want and need to be right is a powerful thing and causes plenty of fights with the parents. Thankfully, as parents, there is still some bit of control that you hold over your teenagers because they still live under your roof, rely on your money and support, eat your food, etc. There are going to be times, though, when that seems like nothing and fixing the relationship between parent and teenager will need a bit more work because the lines of communication aren’t there. Most parents with teenagers have been through it once or twice when the teenagers throw their temper-tantrums, but the reaction to that could either further break or help fix any kind of communication between you two. The door slams, wall-punching, screaming, yelling; they do nothing to fix the relationship. Neither does bribing with gifts. So what should you do as a parent to fix the relationship and the lines of communication? First, start by letting the teenager calm down after the argument. Going into any potential conversation full of anger is only going to cause more tension so while you allow the teenager to take a breather, take the advice yourself and give yourself a minute to relax. It will never help if you continue a disagreement with even more yelling and disagreement because that just pushes the teenager away and further engulfs you two in the anger. Remember to talk things out instead of yelling at each other as it is easier for both of you to process emotions in a calm tone and the slightest change in tone could signal the beginning of a new argument. Sit down together in a quiet place and both need to have the table to express their displeasures in whatever it was that caused the rift in the first place. This allows both of you to lay out expectations, concerns and other factors without getting into a bigger, heated battle of words in which you might say something hurtful. To prevent similar issues from happening in the future, the parents and teenagers should schedule a time or have some kind of understanding that they can talk about certain things that would normally be the cause of a big fight. Giving teenagers the chance to express themselves gives you a better understanding and can help the relationship. Of course, you’re still the parent and you don’t want to give the teenager the thought that they have control over the situation, so lay the ground rules well ahead of time on what can be said at these times. These steps could help from having a disastrous situation in the household and maybe even build a strong understanding and bond between parents and teens.

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