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Dos and Don’ts of Parent-Teen Communication

June 5, 2024

Our Family Wellbeing program helps and promotes fostering positive family dynamics to build strong connections and relationships between parents and teenagers. FWP does a great job of raising awareness by providing information and sharing resources on youth violence and prevention efforts.

Effective communication is key to understanding and addressing various issues that arise during adolescence and communication is one way of love and respect to your teen.

Here are some Dos and Don’ts for enhancing communication within families (specifically between parents and teens):

  • Plan ahead for conversations with your teen, considering both what you want to say and how you’ll deliver your message.
  • Avoid talking down to your teenager; a condescending tone can be incredibly off-putting.
  • Refrain from lecturing or preaching, as this often leads to hostility. Teenagers tend to tune out after hearing a few sentences.
  • Only set limits that you can enforce consistently.
  • Focus on addressing the behaviour, rather than criticizing the individual.
  • Be an active listener. Active listening is important when interacting with your child. An active listener is engaged, caring, non-judgmental and empathetic
  • Keep your messages clear and concise to ensure understanding.
  • Address one issue at a time to avoid overwhelming your teenager.
  • Show an interest in what is important to your child to show you care.
  • Show attentive body language. Maintaining eye contact, giving affirming nods, a look of concern or encouraging smiles are all small gestures that let them know you are paying attention.
  • Ask open-ended, clarifying questions to gain a deeper understanding of how your child feels.

For more information on this topic check out full articles at: 11 tips for communicating with your teen | UNICEF Parenting

Or contact our Family Wellbeing program team: