How to Achieve Smooth and Effective Communication with Your Teen

Adolescence is a time of change and learning. Achieving fluid and effective communication with young people is of vital importance.
How to Achieve Smooth and Effective Communication with Your Teen

Last update: 12 June, 2022

The transition from childhood to adolescence is full of new challenges and discoveries, both for children and their parents. Knowing how to achieve fluid and effective communication, based on respect and love, is essential to being by their side. Therefore, today we’ll present some ways to achieve this and identify harmful attitudes.

If you feel that when talking to your teenager, you’re separated by an abyss or that words aren’t able to bring you closer, it’s time to think about the way you’re communicating. Understanding the reasons why young people distance themselves from their parents is key to preventing these situations.

8 tips for smooth and effective communication with teenagers

Smooth and effective communication happens when both people are in sync, when they connect every word, and enrich the conversation with voluntary input. Learning how to improve this type of dialogue and keep it open over time is of great help in accompanying children in adolescence.

These are some parental keys that you can use to approach your children with respect and love as they begin to grow up.

1. Share quality time and show your affection

In order to connect with a teenager and make them want to share some of their life experiences with their parents, it’s important to spend time together. Expressing yourself through a language based on empathy, interest, and unconditional love that every mom and dad feels for their child is key to providing a safe and secure environment.

A mother hugging her teenage daughters.
Try to dedicate time to your children, no matter how busy your days are.

2. Encourage dialogue and conversation.

If we get our children used to sharing their day’s experiences in a casual way (such as at lunch or dinner time), it’s more likely that when they’re teenagers. they’ll maintain the habit.

Therefore, look for moments to encourage conversation, to know how they feel, and tell them that they can talk about any topic with you.

3. Tell them about your experiences when you were their age

Expressing our emotions is key to fostering stable emotional health. If we want young people to be honest with their parents, it’s important for us older people to do the same.

When we tell our children about our past experiences in our youth, we’re actually sharing part of our intimacy to pass on a lesson, an anecdote, or a moral.

4. Don’t interrupt them when they talk

Occasionally and innocently, parents may interrupt their children in the middle of their story, either to tell about a similar experience or to offer advice. But this can be very annoying for young people.

Hence the importance of knowing how to take turns speaking and learning to listen carefully. This way, young people can tell everything they want to without fear of being coerced.

5. Don’t invade their privacy

This means respecting and recognizing that your child is a person who has begun to discover their identity and many aspects of their life that were previously unknown. Therefore, try not to invade their private space so as not to violate their privacy.

It’s better to encourage dialogue, education, and prevention as tools for adolescents to be responsible and aware of their actions.

6. For smooth and effective communication, don’t judge and offer unconditional love

Being judged by their loved ones is one of the greatest fears that every teenager experiences at some point along the way. In order to favor fluid and effective communication, it’s important to create a place of protection at home that’s free of prejudices, sermons, and value judgments.

Two teenager girls sitting on a log by the sea.
Give your sons and daughters the confidence to share their problems without fear of being judged. Your home should be a refuge, not a battleground.

7. Be careful how you express yourself and the tone of your voice

On many occasions, an innocent phrase can be totally misinterpreted by an incorrect inflection in the voice or by using the wrong words. Try to approach your child with empathy and use close, respectful, and cordial language to foster pleasant communication.

Using the right tone of voice promotes closeness.

8. Learn to recognize when it’s a good time (and when it isn’t)

This happens over time, as each adolescent is unique and demonstrates a desire to communicate or seek help in different ways. Therefore, it’s key to be attentive to all those signals that children unconsciously emit when they need to communicate. Here are some of the most common ones:

  • An abrupt change of attitude. When you notice a more subdued and sad attitude or, on the contrary, intrigued and anxious, your children may need your help. Try to approach them calmly and ask them how they’re feeling.
  • Ask questions about past experiences. For example, “Mom, is it normal at my age to feel insecure about my body?” This gives way for you to offer your opinion and you can best guide your children through their dilemmas.
  • Issues of concern. Whether it’s the music they listen to, the books they like to read, or an article they’ve looked up on the internet. Young people look for ways to solve everything on their own, but help from their parents is never a bad thing.

Love and respect are necessary to achieve a fluid and effective communication

Adolescence is full of flowers on the way for children to learn to know themselves better. However, it’s also a period of trials and teachings in which they may need maternal or paternal help. Hence the importance of approaching them with affection and respect when starting a conversation with a teenager.

Finally, remember to give them unconditional love at all times so they know they can trust their parents, no matter what problem they’re going through.


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