5 Simple Ways To Better Communicate With Your Teenage Son

Communication is critical as your son ages. They have to know they can come to you with anything and that you will be there to listen. But reaching that point, especially during a time when they tend to be so secretive and even hostile, can be so difficult.

When your son is troubled that battle can feel all the more impossible. How can you get them to speak to you when just being in the same room seems to lead to a fight?

Unfortunately, there are no magic tricks to help you do it. But there are some ways you can better communicate with your teenage son, even when you feel like you are at the end of your rope.

  1. Keep Your Cool - The simplest tip but sometimes the hardest to implement, keeping calm in the face of their anger is crucial. Remember that you can’t control your child’s attitude, you can only control yours. If you keep your head cool as things are heating up then there will be nowhere for that fire to spread. You may find your son calming down.
  2. Recognize Distress - Distress can come in many forms. Your son could shout, throw things, cry or even shut down completely. People respond to anxiety and emotional upset in so many ways and because they are young they don’t always know how to process and express it in a healthy way. Even if they look angry, they may not be feeling that particular emotion.
  3. Don’t Say You Understand - You probably do, understand. That doesn’t mean your son believes you. Or that you completely get where they are coming from. Your son is from a new generation with his own set of struggles, some of which you may have never faced. Telling your son you have heard and faced it all before can come off as you minimizing their difficulties. That may make them less likely to share with you.
  4. Encourage Them To Tell You Everything - Context is important. If they start a story somewhere in the middle you might not have the information needed to understand what your son is facing. Encourage him to share where all of it started and the surrounding details that might make it easier to get the full picture.
  5. Listen When They Open Up - You might not think listening to your son talk about his favorite video game or the funny thing their friend said. But those little interactions are the relationship builders that foster a bridge of communication between you. No matter what they are saying, always listen and be engaged.

Find out more at Liahona Academy.

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