All About Kids
Parent and Teen Communication: Keeping the Lines Open With Your Teen
Sometimes, we wonder why our teens keep more to themselves. But here’s what to know and do to keep communications open with them.
As our kids hit their teen years, we will notice that their personalities will change. Before, they loved pop music, ate cereals with milk, and wore bright colors. Now, some teens wear jet black, spikes, and probably listen to enough Heavy Metal to break your speakers. Others become coffee junkies and demand at least one iced coffee a day. The sudden shift usually leads to fights. Our communications with our teens begin to degrade. We have an image of how our kids are like in our head that when change hits, we get so confused. When did the change start? And most of all, how do we cope with it? In this article, we hope you learn more about parent and teen communication, and how to keep the lines open.
Understanding More About Parent and Teen Communication
Change Caused by The Pruning
As we grow older, we don’t keep all our brain cells and it usually starts when we’re teens. We’ll find ourselves forgetting things that we used to know which is one of the biggest struggles of homeschooling. But that’s all about them growing up. Their brains begin to remove the stuff they don’t need. We usually call that phenomenon pruning wherein the brain starts cutting the connections that your teens barely use to help them specialize on something they want to do.
It’s hard for us to let go of the image of our sweet, starry-eyed babies but they’ll have to grow up, too.
Dealing with the Denial
Like how all of us deal with change, we first start by denying that it happens. We sometimes get so scandalized by the thought of our teens drinking beer that we forget we probably did that too at their age. Or, when we catch our teens looking at porn in all shapes and forms. It’ll take some time but we eventually need to accept that they’re not small anymore. That, as teens, they are capable of exercising their ability to make decisions.
Being a Parent and a Friend
As parents, we know that it’s our job to guide them to help them make the right and smart decisions. But sometimes, our teens don’t want our guidance. Rather, they want someone to help them feel safe before they make a decision which is something a friend does. It may take a little extra empathy and understanding on our part especially with how the world and its culture change so quickly but, sometimes, active listening is the best way to go with our teens to keep our communications open.
Parent and Teen Communication Needs a Lot of Flexibility
One of the biggest sources of conflict with your teen may possibly be the generation gap. Especially with traditions that don’t apply to the modern-day. Since they’re on social media and communicating with other people online, they might realize that some old Filipino traditions don’t apply to them. One way to work with it is to probe more about where they learned about it. It may be hard to keep our biases aside but if we want to keep our communications open with our teens, we’ll have to park them on the side for a while so we can offer our teens a willing ear.