5 Things You Should Talk About With Your Teenager
It’s very important for parents to be a guide and counselor for their children. For various reasons, adolescence is one of those moments where guidance is especially needed. Here are five topics that we recommend you talk about with your teenager.
The life of a teenager is plagued by changes and insecurities. They begin to ask themselves about many things. Nobody is better than parents to guide them during these tough times.
All of us went through it. During our teenage years we had doubts or problems, and didn’t know who to turn to for advice.
This was not because we had no trust in our relationships with our friends or family. It was simply because there were certain issues that embarrassed us. This made us think that perhaps it is better to keep it to ourselves.
Communication between parents and children is vital during adolescence. It is a key stage in their development, a stage in which social relationships multiply (both with friends and with first dates).
They will embark on many new experiences such as changing schools or joining a different team or group.
Logically, all of these experiences can often leave them baffled on which route to take. That is where the parent figure has to show up in order to lend them a helping hand.
5 topics that you should talk about with your teenager
If we have to summarize five topics that should not remain untouched during this phase of your child’s life, they would be the following:
- Sexuality. This is a topic that generates a lot of doubts. While it is the most difficult to face, talking about sex with your child is no longer taboo. Sex education starts at home and is very important for your child to value your advice more than the advice of their friends. Sex is inevitably a topic that will emerge in talks with their peers. They will see it on the TV or on the internet. It is important for you to give them some truth in the middle of so much disinformation.
- Friendships. Adolescence is an age of conflict. It can make us lose friends and gain many new friends. During this age, the child will learn who they can trust and how to behave. You can talk to them about your own experience. It will be good for them to hear what you have lived through in order to teach them how to maneuver in the world they are just beginning to explore on their own.
- Responsibilities. Your child is going through a phase in which responsibilities will start becoming more and more important. They may even begin to have their first experience with a job. Therefore, it is up to you to accompany them and instill in them the need to fulfill the commitments and obligations they take on. Permissiveness is not a good strategy since it will only make them form bad habits in the future.
- Values. Education in values is a process that must begin from childhood. When they become teenagers they start to move about on their own; they believe they can make it their own way. This is where you can see the kindness, respect, tolerance and other values that they learned at home. Talk to your teenager to guide through everyday situations.
- Money. Along with responsibilities comes money. This will also bring benefits, so we must teach our teenagers how to value things and the necessary effort needed to achieve their objectives. Conflicts or disputes can arise but with good dialogue you will be able to be a great help to them.
Tips to be communicate with your teenager successfully
Although you might have the best intentions and you believe you can solve all of their problems with a five-minute talk, do not pressure them. If they are not prepared to tell you what happened, do not force them to.
It is important for them to know that you are available. They think of you as a person to turn to for encouragement and help.
Think of the phrase: “We have two ears and only one mouth to listen more and talk less.” It is important for the child to express themselves. Then when the time is right you can recommend what you think is best to do.
This will only work if you don’t impose your orders without having truly understood what they mean.
“A parent who listens is a parent that is listened to”
Consider their body language, tone and facial expressions. Without realizing it, teenagers can be extremely expressive through their gestures. If you analyze them correctly, they can tell you the true meaning of their words.
Ask delicately. Be very careful with the words that you choose. A misused term or an invasive question can throw away all the trust that you have gained.
A committed parent can be a great help to children while going through all of their phases. Don’t be afraid of dialogue but you should not force it either.
Take advantage of opportunities to talk to your teenager and little by little, give them all the advice you can offer them.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Faber, A., & Mazlish, E. (2006). Cómo hablar para que los adolescentes escuchen y cómo escuchar para que los adolescentes hablen. Barcelona: Medici.
- Estévez, E., López, E. E., & Ochoa, G. M. (2007). Relaciones entre padres e hijos adolescentes (Vol. 3). Nau Llibres.
- Estévez López, E., Musitu Ochoa, G., & Herrero Olaizola, J. (2005). El rol de la comunicación familiar y del ajuste escolar en la salud mental del adolescente. Salud mental, 28(4), 81-89. http://www.scielo.org.mx/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=
- Jiménez, Á. P., & Delgado, A. O. (2002). Comunicación y conflicto familiar durante la adolescencia. Anales de Psicología/Annals of Psychology, 18(2), 215-231. https://revistas.um.es/analesps/article/view/28421