Listening to teens and communicating effectively sounds like a foreign concept at times. Parents communicating with their teens can seem like another language. The reality is that parents need to understand that it’s critical at these teen years to speak less and listen more. I know that sounds backwards but by leading through example your teen will see that your actions match up to your words. The need to solve and fix is strong when you see your child upset, hurt or feeling lost and confused.
Learn to turn off your “critical parent alarm.” As hard as it may seem try to listen without a reaction and the instinct to judge. When your teen comes to you and says they met someone they like for the first time, you may instinctively want to rush in to tell your teen that he or she is way to young. By doing this you have created a wall that has prevented you from being able to hold a healthy and meaningful discussion about relationships and healthy sexuality.
Some of the parents I have spoken to over the years often say that if they could go back and do it again they would have taken a less critical approach.