Communicating with your child

communicating with your child

Living with teenagers can be really fun and rewarding, but there can also be some very tough times, as most parents will agree. Communication is important during both the good and the tough times. The following tips can help you form habits that will improve communication between you and your child.

Make time together

At least one meal a week could be a family meal. Research shows that eating together is an important way of cementing family relationships. If you can, use flexi-time arrangements to be at home when your child gets in from school one day each week. They may complain, but don’t give up. Get them to help with cooking and washing up - working together gives a good opening for small talk and big talk.

 

Listen to your child

Your teen needs space to talk. Teens can often find it hard to put their feelings into words, but knowing that you are listening can be enough.

Involve them

Talk about what you’ve been up to - not about your problems but about your daily life. If they feel included in the things you do they are more likely to see the value of including you in the things they do.

Set some boundaries

Don't over-burden them with work but ask them to prepare the occasional meal or to run some errands. They may protest but they will feel included in your life rather than being an outsider. Remind them that adults have responsibilities and that it is easier to treat them as adults when they take some responsibility.

How we can help you

If you would like support and advice, you can talk to one of our Family Support Workers by calling our confidential helpline on 0808 800 2222. You can also share experiences and advice with other parents on our Forums. Family Lives is here for you and you can contact us about any family issue, big or small.

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