7 Tips to Talking With Teenagers

Because adolescence is a stage during which there are many ups and downs, we want to give you some advice for effective communication between parents and their children.
7 Tips to Talking With Teenagers

Last update: 29 October, 2018

Talking with teenagers isn’t as complicated as it seems. Although their desire for independence and search for self-identity can make communication difficult, you  can put some tricks into practice to help your relationship improve and grow.

Do you remember what it was that bothered you so much when you were young? Nowadays, remembering such moments can be funny, especially if you see that your child is experiencing the exact same thing.

Although now it may seem silly, our children still lack experience and, therefore, it’s necessary to respect their growth.

7 tips to talking with teenagers

1. Remember that they’re no longer babies

Even if you continue to see them with a lot of love and tenderness, you shouldn’t label them or refer to them as if they were still babies. In general, teenagers reject these kinds of expressions of affection because it doesn’t make them feel validated or respected as individuals.

So our first piece of advice for talking with teenagers is to try and put aside childish gestures and not remind them every two times how tender they were until recently. In this sense, you have to adapt and grow with them.

2. Avoid confrontation

You should make sure that they feel comfortable talking to you about their experiences and that they can trust you without fear of being reprimanded. 

The fact that they open up to you and you respond by punishing them will further anger them and keep them from telling you about similar things in the future, since they’ll stop going to you for support. 

To have a good conversation with them, you should try being as supporting as possible, by contributing with topics that are of their interest, such as their friends, their favorite games, their hobbies and so on.

7 Tips to Talking With Teenagers

3. Try to see things from their point of view

Even if you don’t agree with what they say, try not to make hard judgments in a loud tone. Instead, try to stay neutral on any issue that you think and don’t devalue their opinion because, otherwise, you’ll only push them away. 

To favor good communication, show them that you’re willing to see things from their point of view and listen to their message. This way, they’ll be more respectful when they decide to speak.

4. Keep calm

When it comes to talking with teenagers, it’s essential to remain calm. Make sure that you can control your emotions when you speak to them because if you speak aggressively, you can cause them to react explosively and cause unnecessary worries.

It’s much easier to solve a problem if you talk about it slowly. Yelling will make teenagers feel attacked, and they’ll most likely react the same way or close up, ending the conservation.

5. Avoid forcing the conversation

If you think that your teenagers are avoiding starting a conversation with you, you shouldn’t bother them, as it will push them further away. Accept that for now. Maybe the time isn’t right to address the problem.

Assure them that you’ll be there for when they’re ready to speak and that, consequently, your door will always be open.

It’s also worth looking for external support. It could be that your teenager feels more comfortable talking to someone he doesn’t know. In this case, you can contact a therapist or a psychologist.

7 Tips to Talking With Teenagers

6. Listen to what teenagers have to say

Before trying to advise teenagers, you must make sure that you’ve listened to what they have to say, without making any judgment or anecdote. Pay attention, carefully consider what they’ve said and suggest that you’ll jointly find a productive and positive way to resolve the situation and move forward.

7. Don’t take it personally

When people are angry, frustrated or annoyed, they sometimes say things they don’t mean. Try not to adopt your teenagers’ bad mood or take what they say in the heat of the moment personally.

When we’re stressed, we sometimes lose clarity, and we say things we don’t mean to hurt the other person.

You must take into account if they say something that may hurt you, and not react explosively to their comments. Instead, you should suggest continuing the conversation after things have calmed down and they’re ready to talk.

Finally, we hope that these tips may serve you as a guide to talking with teenagers. As a mother, you should be patient and enjoy this stage to the fullest.

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=
  • Guevara, L., Pinzón, N., & Osorio, M. (2021). Comunicación asertiva entre padres y adolescentes. Revista Estudios Psicológicos, 1(4), 51-79. http://www.estudiospsicologicos.com/index.php/rep/article/view/18
  • 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
  • Pavez, M. M. (1999). Déficit en el desarrollo del lenguaje en la adolescencia. Revista Chilena de Fonoaudiología, 1(1), 41-50. Disponible en este enlace.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.