It is important to make that road of communication WIDE and a two way street. For as we parent our teenagers COMMUNICATION is the key. Sometimes what parents “say” is not at all what our kids hear. Remember your teen may hear things in a whole different way, from what you meant to say. Effective communication is possible through active listening, watching body language and a desire to understand and be understood!
93% of human communication is through our body language -posture, gestures, and facial expressions. This means our teens are only hearing about 7 % of what we say. So you can bet – all eyes are on what you do more than what you say.
But, don’t lose hope that your words are falling on deaf ears. They are not! In marketing it is common to wisdom that a customer needs to hear your message at least 7 times before they remember and take action. The same holds true for teens. Don’t be shy parents, we need to repeat our messages more than once, if we want our teens to remember AND we need to demonstrate those same messages through our actions.
Follow you own identified family values and some commonly agreed upon ones - treat others with respect, don’t talk or text while driving, clean up after yourself around the house, take responsibility when you are wrong, etc. Your teens will be more willing to listen when you talk about the big stuff, like drugs, drinking and sex.
We have to build a positive relationship before we can expect true listening from our teens and before we can do effective discipline. Think of your relationship with your children like a bank account. You have to invest before you can withdraw!