Simple Tips for Communicating With Your Teens

Learn how to have better, more meaningful communication with your teens.

When you think about ways to communicate more effectively with your teen, try to consider this an ongoing process. Talking to teens doesn’t happen during a series of deep, serious conversations. Instead, every day should involve meaningful interactions, big and small. You never know when a simple greeting or question can lead to an important discussion or when it can mean the difference between your teen making a good choice and a harmful one. Try these easy tips to communicate with your teen:

Show interest in your teen’s life
Take the time to show interest in the things that your teen cares about. Acknowledge the depth of their feelings for the things they care about. Praise them for their accomplishments in the activities that mean the most to them. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism cites a strong parent-child relationship as a good way to deter teen drinking.

Pay attention to your teen’s friends
Some teens have the same best friends for years, while others cycle through friend groups all the time. Stay on top of who your teen is hanging out with. Ask non-threatening questions about how their friends are doing. Facilitate activities and get to know other parents. These natural activities will encourage you and your teen to keep talking.

Don’t ignore online behavior
Short of grabbing your teen’s phone and reading their texts, it may be hard to know what they're doing online. Set ground rules, especially when it comes to photos that are shared. Discuss online safety and bullying by acknowledging that when you were a teen, bullying and harassment occurred in different ways. StopBullying.gov cautions parents to be aware of signs that their child is engaging in bullying behavior, such as competitive behavior and worrying about their reputation or popularity.

Be a positive part of your teen's life. Find out how to educate your teen about the dangers of drug abuse and more at LiveFree!

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