Communicate with Your Teenager with Magic Words

There are a few magic words that you can use to improve communication with your teenager.
Communicate with Your Teenager with Magic Words

Last update: 27 August, 2020

Communicating with your teen can be tricky. When talking to them, ask them what they plan to do instead of telling them what you think they should do. This can open up a whole new world of communication and respect. It can be difficult to communicate with your teenager, but some magic words can open many doors: “What do you want to do?”

Communicate with your teenager with the magic words: “What do you want to do?”

These words can actually help change your relationship forever. Teens are old enough to know what to do, but they might need your help to figure out how to handle a situation. However, they also want to be in control and want to be able to choose between different options.

You should say the magic words “What do you want to do?” with respect because this is a way of passing responsibility to your child and helping them develop good planning skills. These are very powerful words, more than you can imagine. When you start using them, everything will change between you and your teen for the better.

You might be reluctant at first. For example, you might think that your child is disorganized and that you’re constantly reminding them of their responsibilities. However, it’s a good idea to let them learn from their mistakes.

You need to be respectful to communicate with your teenager.

Typically, teens want to do things when they feel like doing them, not when you want them to. However, it’s not necessary to argue. Instead, they just need to know that there are deadlines that they need to meet. If they don’t meet these deadlines, there will be consequences.

In addition to using the magic words, it’s also a good idea to have other communication strategies. This way you can ensure that your relationship with your child is open and you can convey your messages efficiently.

Communicate with your teenager openly

If you make your child feel defensive, they’ll hide the truth or lie because they don’t want to disappoint you. They also want to do what they think is best under the circumstances. It’s important to maintain mutual respect to keep lines of communication open at all times. If you need to stay calm in a conversation, follow these tips:

Empathy first and consequences after

Looking at the situation from your child’s perspective will help guide them to make better decisions in the future. For example, the next time your child comes home with a poor grade, try saying something like: “Give me a hug.” “Is there anything I can do to help?” “Is there anything we can do to improve these results?”

Give yourself time to communicate with your teenager

You don’t have to respond immediately if you’re upset or angry. Instead, give yourself time to calm down. In the heat of the moment, it’s okay to say, “You didn’t set the table even though you knew it was your responsibility. We’ll discuss this after I’ve had time to calm down.”

Don’t yell and use the magic words to communicate with your teenager

React sympathetically first before dealing with consequences. In some circumstances, your natural response might be to get angry. However, anger only releases your feelings and lets them come pouring out. Often, you don’t actually communicate anything productive. Instead, you should take a step back and consider things from your child’s point of view. Say the magic words.

A mother and child arguing on the couch.

Don’t scold

Scolding comes from not wanting your child to make mistakes. However, childhood and adolescence are all about learning by trying new things and making mistakes. For example, having a messy room, not studying for a test, and forgetting to do chores are non-life-threatening mistakes that children make. You can create consequences for these mistakes.

However, getting annoyed only stresses out both of you and doesn’t teach your teen the value of taking more responsibility. Often, a reminder is enough. If you always scold your kids about things, they’ll always expect you to. Remember, remind them once and then, if they don’t listen, put consequences in place.

Don’t be a problem solver

Your job as a parent is to teach your children to make good decisions and think independently. You don’t need to have all the answers right away. Instead, you just need to start the conversation. For example, you can say something like, “Let me think about it and then we’ll see what we can do together.” This most important thing is that your children feel heard.

Also, instead of having a disagreement with your teenager, take some time to think about how to react before responding. Often, the answer is simple: Think about how you would like to be treated and treat your teen the same way. Also, use the magic words: “What do you want to do?” or “How do you want to do this?”


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