Communicating with your teen

No matter how young or old your children are, communicating with them can be difficult despite strong family bonds. This is especially true in families with children who struggle with their own unique challenges.

While there is no magical solution, there are a few things you can try to make communicating with your child or teen a bit easier for everyone involved. If you still find barriers to understanding, Optimal Edu Options has a process individualized to your needs to help your family.

Active Listening

The best thing you can do if you’re interested in your child’s life is to listen. Even if you have a strong opinion about what they’re saying, do your best to let them talk and say everything they’re willing to say. Then, consider asking questions or offering your opinion – but try and do so unobtrusively.

For children struggling socially or emotionally, parents and caregivers need to listen empathetically without judging or criticizing. If what they are revealing upsets you, take a deep breath, offer encouragement and refrain from losing your temper. Lead by example by being calm and respectful, even when you disagree with choices your child may have made.

Validate Their Emotions

It can be tempting to try and make your child feel better by solving their problems for them. However, children may misconstrue your urge to help as being dismissive, and interfering. As a result, they make them think twice before sharing their feelings again.

Instead of saying something like “he wasn’t good enough for you anyway” after a breakup, for example, consider recognizing your child’s feelings. Tell them that it sounds like they’re going through a difficult time and ask them how they think they might proceed.

Respond to their statements by restating what you heard, such as: “It sounds like going to school and facing your friends is very frightening to you” or “what I hear you saying is that you feel your teacher isn’t respecting your views.”

These responses validate their feelings without judging whether what they feel, or think is right or wrong.

Find Professional Help

Despite our best intentions as caregivers, sometimes communicating effectively is all but impossible without professional help. Thankfully, Optimal Edu Options can help determine the best course of action to help your family through this time and improve your child’s quality of life. We pride ourselves on giving our clients solutions tailored to their specific needs.

Contact our team today to find out how we can help find resources to help your child and family thrive.

Optimal Edu Options is an Arizona-based education consulting agency whose experienced team has the expertise necessary to effectively support your family and child in finding the best educational and therapeutic options to meet your family’s needs. Reach out to us today for more information about our services and how they can help. We offer a free 30-minute consultation. Email or call us at (602) 904-1282.