As a therapist for teens, I understand that communicating with your teen can be a challenge. They may not listen or seem to care about anything you have to say. But what if this is because they think you are not listening to them either? Teenagers can be checked out around their parents, especially during their high school years. This is just a part of growing through adolescence, but it can also be a reaction to how their parents treat them. If a teenager does not believe that their parents care about what they have to say, the chances are that they will exhibit that same attitude back. Teenagers are at a critical developmental period in their life; they need support and guidance from their parents. So as a parent, how can you better communicate with your teen?
3 Tips on Effective Communication From A Therapist For Teens
Don’t talk over your teen.
The key to effective communication is listening. Let your teen say what they have to say, and listen to them. Don’t talk over them when they are trying to tell you something important. Once your teen finishes talking, let them know you understand and hear them. Instead of going straight into parenting mode and giving advice, ask your teen if they want advice on the situation. Sometimes, kids don’t want to receive advice; they want to feel heard.
Give your teen space.
Teens want to have independence and freedom as they get older. One way to do this is by giving your child space. If you push your teen to tell you everything, chances are they will be less forthcoming than if they were to come to you on their own. Instead, trust your teen to come to you when they need help. You can let them know you are here for them but don’t force them to tell you what is going on. This could steer your teen away from you. Unless you are concerned for their safety, give them space to come to you.
Take time to communicate with your teen.
While loads of people are busy with work, parents must take time out of their day to communicate with their teenagers. Sometimes kids want to talk at the worst moment, during a meeting, right before a big work project, or during your five-minute break. While it may be frustrating that your teen chooses the worst moments to talk, try not to reflect that frustration onto them.
If your teen approaches you to talk at a difficult spot in your day, calmly explain that you cannot talk right now but that you would be more than happy to speak with them later. You don’t always need to be ready and available to talk with your child. However, you do want to set aside a time in the day when it’s best for you both to talk. Additionally, when you talk with your teen, make sure that all your attention is on them. If they feel like you are too distracted to talk to them, they might not feel heard and shut down.
Our Therapist for Teens in San Diego is Here to Help!
If you and your teen are having trouble communicating effectively, Family Connections Therapy is here for you! We can help you and your family develop the skills necessary to flourish and grow through both therapy for teens and family therapy. In order to speak with a therapist for teens in San Diego about how to best support your teenager follow these steps:
- Call our office today at (858) 776-8804 to speak with a therapist for teens
- Schedule either a family therapy appointment or counseling for teens appointment based on your needs
- Start having a better relationship with your teenager through effective communication
Other Counseling Services We Offer in San Diego, California
At our San Diego-based therapy practice we offer several options to support the mental health of you and your whole family. Our children’s therapy also includes therapy for ADHD, attachment and healthy development, play therapy, LGBTQIA+, and transgender therapy. Our Marriage and Family Therapists also offer family therapy, couples therapy, and marriage counseling. We offer individual therapy, depression treatment, anxiety treatment, and more for adults! As well as family reunification therapy and court-ordered parenting classes. All of these services are also offered in person in San Diego or to California residents through online therapy.