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Communicating with your teen

There can be a lot of fun and enjoyment in living with teenager, 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.

To go about improving communication between you and your child you can cultivate the following habits:

Make time together

- At least one meal a day could be a family meal - they may complain, but don't give up! 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.

- Organise a regular family outing such as shopping, a football match or bowling.

- Insist that children help with cooking and washing up - working together gives a good opening for small talk and big talk, if need be.


Your child needs space to talk in. They often find it hard to put their feelings into words. Just knowing that you are listening can be enough.

Involve them

Talk about yourself - 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.

Don't make demands

Don't over-burden them with work but ask them to make the occasional meal or to run 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 you are more likely to treat them as adults if they take some responsibility.

(Source: Parentlineplus)