Strong communication is the key to a healthy connection between you and your children. Nevertheless, it can be difficult when you have no idea what they’re saying! Parenting is hard work and maintaining a good connection with teens can be challenging, especially since parents deal with many other pressures. Besides understanding what they’re saying (AKA teen slang), here are some tips to bond with your family:
Ask directions. Don’t be afraid to ask your children what they may want or need from you in a conversation. This can be merely listening, some advice, help in dealing with feelings or solving a problem. Listen to their point of view, even if it’s difficult to hear. Repeat what you heard them say to ensure that you understand them correctly. Let them complete their point before you respond.
Keep it simple. Talk—don’t lecture, criticize, threaten or say hurtful things. Listen carefully to what they say, and encourage them to express themselves. Try to learn the full story. Communicate your opinion without putting down theirs and acknowledge that it’s okay to disagree. Soften strong reactions as kids will tune you out if you appear angry or defensive
Be a role model. Kids learn by imitating. They will follow your lead in how they solve problems, deal with anger and work through complicated feelings. Be the best version of yourself!
Stay Aware of what’s going on in your teen’s life by paying attention to the slang terms they use. While some words are familiar, others signify dangerous behavior. Keep the lines of the communication open to get through these trying years.