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Keeping the Lines of Communication Open With Your Teenager

Updated on October 6, 2012
Pictured: Malcolm Hiram
Pictured: Malcolm Hiram | Source

According to dictionary.com, communication is defined as "the imparting or interchange of thoughts, opinions, or information by speech, writing, or signs."

I believe that active, engaged communication between parents and teenagers are vitally important especially with all the various peer pressure situations that they can embark upon in today's society.

Old School Parenting

When I was growing up I always heard the same old cliche "do as I say." Yes, I know that every parent has the responsibility to lead their child(ren) towards making the right decisions; many of those based on personal experiences growing up during their respective era(s).

For my mother, she was very old school and never really wanted to sit down to have a conversation with me when I had certain questions so I talked to "my friends." Granted, this didn't make my mom a bad parent or person but it didn't make me feel comfortable going to talk to her about too much at that time.

I always knew when I became a mother that I would try to do things a little differently in regards to communicating with my child(ren). Granted, I do believe in punishment when he/she does something wrong but I never wanted to be that parent who didn't develop a strong, open communication relationship with the person that I brought into this world.

Society & Teens

While some may agree or disagree with my next statement, it is my firm belief that parents have to pay close attention to the effects of societal changes especially when it comes to raising teenagers. This includes the shows and movies viewed, the music listened to and the other young people that they may want to hang out with consistently.

There are so many things that can influence the decisions that teenagers make on a daily basis so that is why is it so important for them to be made comfortable to talk to their parents about anything. Yes - that includes the subjects such as dating, sex and his/her thoughts on current events.

Malcolm & I (Charlotte Motor Speedway)
Malcolm & I (Charlotte Motor Speedway) | Source

Communication Tips

There are a number of things that my son and I have done to improve our communication with each other throughout these years which I believe have helped to strengthen our relationship. It has been advantageous because he is able to talk to me openly and I am able to share my wisdom from life experiences with him.

Here are some suggested communication tips:

  • Listen to each other - you have to talk to each other and not at each other so it's important to actually listen to what is being said to you.
  • Do things together - it is important to do things together as a family (e.g. amusement/entertainment parks, cook dinner, movies (at home or the theater) and etc.
  • Take a vested interest in at least one major thing that your teen is passionate about - "vested" doesn't necessarily mean monetary but geared towards giving up some of your time to attend events that are important to your teenager(s) which could include high school sporting events, music classes and etc.

I am well aware that most parents have their own method of child rearing especially when it comes to their teenagers; however, communication is definitely one aspect that is vitally important. With any relationship I think that you have to talk openly in order to build that concrete trust.

I hope that these tips were helpful to you and please feel free to add some of the tips that you found helpful in raising your teenager(s). Although I know that each teen's personality is different, I believe that communication is always important to them especially with their parent(s).

Until next time ...

Is/Are your teenager(s) able to talk to you about anything?

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    • UMHiram profile imageAUTHOR

      Unique Hiram 

      4 years ago from Midwest

      Thanks for reading ComfortB & the vote. Yes indeed, teenagers will make parents put in some work but communication is key. I love the fact that my son and I can talk about a lot with one another to this day. Yes, the patience of Job is a much needed key :-)

    • ComfortB profile image

      Comfort Babatola 

      4 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

      Great points you've made here. As a mother of an almost 18 and 17 teens, I have struggled with effectively communicating with my teens. It takes a lot of grace, wisdom and patience (which I don't have a lot of), but I'm getting there.

      Great hub. Voted up, useful, and interesting!

    • UMHiram profile imageAUTHOR

      Unique Hiram 

      5 years ago from Midwest

      I totally agree troubledteens1 ... thanks for reading, commenting and the follow. I look forward to reading your Hubs as well. Take care!

    • troubledteens1 profile image

      Troubled Teens 

      5 years ago from Spokane, Wa Area

      Communication is essential for any relationship to thrive, but even more so with teenagers as they are being pulled in so many directions. They need a strong parent to lean on during these times.

    • UMHiram profile imageAUTHOR

      Unique Hiram 

      6 years ago from Midwest

      Thanks for reading and commenting on the Hub dontaytte.

    • dontaytte profile image

      dontaytte 

      6 years ago from Palos Hills

      Nice hub. Sometimes I don't think that people understand how important it is to have good communication with there teens. At that age they are experiencing many new things and I think that it's hard to let those feeling out to many people

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