Modern Methods Used to Re-establish Communication With a Boy Fresh Out of a Program

You and your teen: you are two different people, with two different perspectives, plus the added problem of your teen's stay in a residential treatment program. So when he gets out, how in the world do you re-establish communication with him, in a way that is hopefully better than it was before?

Thankfully, there are methods to help you re-establish that connection. Let's take a closer look at better communication with your teen.

Communication Basics

It can be hard to communicate with a teen on the best of days, but throw in behavioral issues that need addressing, and you might feel like you're butting your head against the proverbial wall. There are some tips you can use to help turn those communication woes into successes:

  • be calm--don't let your emotions get the best of you!
  • seek first to understand, then to be understood
  • ask genuine questions and really listen to the answers
  • don't expect your teen to validate your opinions

In other words, don't strike up an important conversation with your teen when you know your mood or his isn't the best. Before you try to make your teen see your point of view, try understanding where your teen is coming from. From personal experience, it may even alter what you think you need to say. Instead of asking loaded questions that have a real potential to make the conversation go south, ask genuine questions and then listen to what your teen has to say. Finally, don't expect your teen to change his mind or validate your own opinions. Agree to disagree if you have to, just try to keep the peace and stay calm.

Re-establishing Communication

After some state-of-the-art therapy for your teen, it's more important than ever to re-establish communication as he returns home and re-enters the family and regular life. As you implement the communication basics above, there are some "modern methods" you can use to help open the lines of communication. And it just might surprise you!

Texting is one modern method of communication, and despite what it may seem, it is not the number one preferred method of teen communication! According to PR Daily, 58% of teens said that they prefer to meet and communication in person. That is followed quite distantly by texting, with only 28% of teens citing it as their preferred method of communication. Talking by telephone and messaging on Facebook got 5% each.

What does this mean to parents? Your teen wants your time--face-to-face communication with you. So as your teen returns from residential treatment, don't underestimate the power of a face-to-face conversation where you both seek to understand each other, ask genuine questions, and then really listen to the answers. If you need to, you can continue to open the lines of communication via text when it is not possible to have a face-to-face conversation.

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