Communicating with Your Teen

As teens travel along the road to adulthood, they can be so intent on proving their independence that they clash with everything their parents say. If you are having trouble connecting with your teen, the parents of Parent Soup - the #1 gathering place for parents online - can help. Below, they share their tips for keeping the air clear and, more importantly, letting your teen know that no matter what they are going through or how difficult they are acting, you will always love them.

Share Your Experiences
"When talking to your teen about a problem they are having, whether it be drinking, smoking or whatever, try to relate it to something that happened to you in your past and tell your teen about it. They'll appreciate knowing that they are not the only ones going through this particular problem."

Make Yourself Available
"I find with my teens that you need to take the time to sit around with them and their friends, not in an intrusive way, but just being friendly and expressing an interest in their lives and opinions. This gives lots of openings for discussing what is happening in their lives and their friends will start to confide in you too."

Admit Your Mistakes
"One of the best things you can do for your teen is to admit when you're wrong and apologize for what you might have said or done. It teaches him that it is okay to be wrong and, even better, how to give an apology when one is due."

Tell Them You Love Them
"Remember to tell your kids that you love them. They may act like they don't care but they do."

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