Parents and Their Teenagers’ Communication

Your teenager has something to tell you. 
I can assure you, that there’s something in your teenager’s life that he or she is just waiting for the right time, the perfect occasion to share with you.
 In today’s culture, kids are using texts, pings, chats, face books and tweets making it harder for them to communicate eye-to-eye. When confronted with a face-to-face conversation, our teenager’s often struggle to naturally communicate their emotion to their parents. Teenagers rarely reveal their hearts until we ask them questions that require more than ‘yes’ & ‘no’ answers.
 Parents should try to create a trusted relationship with their kids from birth, So that as we move closer towards them in a trusted relationship, they move closer to us and are willing to drop their guards and confide in us about what’s really  in their hearts instead of telling us what we want to hear, or go as far as sharing their problems with their friends and mates who most times are ignorant.
 Most kids have hidden desire which is ‘I wish I could tell my mom and dad what’s really on my mind’. As parents when we talk to them, we seem to be more interested in managing their behavior, than delving into the real issues. Sometimes when they have grave or serious problems, we parents are devastated, then we ask them why they have not shared the problem before, their answer would be ‘we never asked’. As parents we have to dig for the nugget of truth that our kids/ teenagers are longing to share/tell us.
 If we don’t give our kids the opportunity, we can be certain they will never volunteer their most personal thoughts. The trouble is that most times when we attempt to communicate with our teenagers, they push us away especially if we don’t have a close & trusted relationship with them in the first instance. It won’t be easy to start this kind of communication if you have not had it with them before. So let the teenagers know that it’s okay to share the things that are troubling them. We should try not to over react. That only serves to shut them down. We parents/ guardians need to give our kids a trusted place where they feel safe to open up their heart and be vulnerable.
 It’s a scary moment for most teenagers and we need to create an enabling environment where they know its okay to be themselves. We should be persistent & gentle when trying to get to the root of the problem; even if they are reluctant we should not give up. This will establish an expectation in their minds that we don’t plan on giving up on them. We should take part in activities they enjoy.  If your teenager likes music, which they usually do, or games, find one both of you will listen and play to. It’s not the activity that matters but it shows that we truly want to engage with them on their levels.
 Every teen has something they want to communicate. They are harboring thoughts about things they have done, things that define them, problems they are struggling to solve, relationships and situations that cause them frustration and problems with their parents.
 By building a relationship that allows for a balance between guidance and accountability, we can actually cultivate an environment of trust that convinces our kids that we love them………no matter what …

 

Written By Nene IKENNA-OBI


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