Communication involves expressing your ideas and feelings, as well as accurately receiving the ideas expressed by others. But, communication is more than just the exchange of words. Originating from the Latin word “communis”, communication means to establish a sense of “commonness” through what we say, how we say it, why we say it, when we say it, as well as what we don’t say. Marian-Webster defines commonness as “belonging to or shared by two or more individuals or things or by all members of a group”. As parents, we share a sense of commonness through the parent-child relationship.
Why can it be so difficult to communicate with teens? Communication is how parents and children share aspects of themselves, developing increased awareness, understanding, and closeness through the exchange of thoughts, feelings, and ideas. Sometimes, our body language says more
to our teens than the words we speak. This means that we need to be genuinely interested and accepting of our teens. We can improve communication with teens by finding ways to relate to them. This can be shar
ing car rides, dancing in the living room to their favorite music, or hanging out at the skate park. Most of the time, if we find joint experiences or engage in activities that teens like, they will naturally open up and
share a little piece of who they are with us. It is through this process that we find the commonness that brings us together.
Healthy communication requires recognizing that communicating is a choice. The only behavior a parent can really control is his/her own. It can be easy to get caught up in feeling like … “my teen never talks to me.” This is the wrong focus because you can’t make your teen talk to you, or share personal thoughts and feelings. Instead, focus on gaining perspective of your own emotions and being consistently present, open, and available for your teen. Create opportunities for the two of you to share an experience and watch the connection happen!
Share your thought … What works for you?
- How to Maintain a Healthy Relationship With Your Teen – Part 1: Their Social Lives (brighthub.com)
- How mothering and fathering an adolescent can be different. (psychologytoday.com)