Conversations Column

Ten Tips for Conversations that Matter with Teenagers

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009
  1. Initiate important conversations early with your child, beginning by listening carefully to what is important to them…bullies in the lunchroom, a commercial on television, a scary story that they heard.
  2. Speak directly using simple language to describe your knowledge, feelings and activities with your child or teen.
  3. Parental self-disclosure can increase communication with young people but it is important to be aware of your relationship role and their developmental age. For example, unhealthy parental risk-taking often slips out in conversation but has negative consequences.
  4. Adults can share what we have learned about risk-taking. A nonjudgmental and non-bragging manner is critical. It is often most important to share feelings and mistakes. (more…)