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Last updated on 20th July 2019 by Dr Shivangi

The biggest challenge as a parent of a teenager is: HOW TO GET YOUR TEENAGER TO LISTEN TO YOU! And this ACTUALLY boils down to HOW TO TALK TO YOUR TEENAGER SO HE LISTENS.

Be it school, friends, social media or more complex issues like sex and drug abuse, your teenager always tries to pull away from you and have his own way.

However, you can solve the problem by connecting positively with your teenager.

What I mean by connecting positively with your teenager is to establish a RELATIONSHIP with your teenager where each of you LISTEN, APPRECIATE, and SHARE their feelings with one another. (rather than criticising which IN REALITY happens)

Think of it this WAY! If you CONNECT with your teenager at an emotional level, it would be much easier to deliver what you want to say and INCREASE the chances of your teenager’s approval.


So, let’s dive in to learn how to make this CONNECTION with your teenager.

Here’ what you will learn in this post:

Tips on How to Talk to your Teenager

Connection in any relationship starts with COMMUNICATION. The way you talk or communicate with the other person decides the quality of your relationship.

So, here’s how to talk to your teenager to make a positive CONNECTION with him/her:

1. Appreciate, not criticise

The CHIEF problem between parents and teenagers?

Lack of acceptance for each other. Parents don’t accept the ways and thinking of a teenager, and a teenager doesn’t like their ways.

RESULT: An UNHEALTHY relationship between you and your teenager

UNDERSTAND this: Though you are a parent, it doesn’t mean that your teenager is always wrong.


What to do instead?

Appreciate your teenager's individuality, opinions, and perspective. Guide him where he is wrong instead of criticising. Click To Tweet

2. Show trust

Mutual trust is the foundation of any relation, even the parent-teenager.


Trust your teen and his capabilities even when he has done something WRONG.

Instead of suspecting something fishy, allow your teenager to open up and share his feelings with you WITHOUT any FEAR. Click To Tweet

Know how to build trust in your parent-child relationship by reading this post.

3. Understand and empathise

Teen age is also an age of upheaval. The hormonal changes, mood swings, peer pressure, etc. makes it difficult for your teen to be in control of his emotions.

He might be jovial at one moment and frustrated at another. Might share one thing with you and not the other.

So, don’t feel bad about his behaviour.

What to do instead?

Understand and empathise with your teen to give him the confidence for navigating this difficult terrain easily. Click To Tweet

4. Explain the rules

Rules are important to maintain discipline in life.

But, just because you make the rules, don’t expect your teenager to obey them straight away.

He is now a grown-up individual with his own reasoning and logic.

So, whenever you make a rule, explain your teenager the reason behind it and the consequences of its neglect. Click To Tweet

5. Control your anger

It’s easy to flare up when your teenager behaves rude.

But, reacting in anger will shut the gateways of further communication with him.



Take a pause, have some water, and take some deep breaths before you talk with your teenager about his/her misbehaviour. Click To Tweet

6. Refrain from lectures

Telling your teenager what to do and what not is a consequence of reacting in anger towards your teen’s behaviour. He might have been rude, might have not behaved the way he ought to, but going on and on with your instructions seems intolerable to him.

Consequently, your teenager turns more rebellious.

So, explain your teenager what is necessary in a short, concise manner and in a firm, assertive tone without yelling. Click To Tweet

7. Don’t judge

Teenagers DO share their feelings or ask for your guidance at times, though they may not open up or share everything with you.

But, WHEN you JUDGE or get CRITICAL over what your teenager shares with you, you indirectly REJECT him. You reject an opportunity to connect with him at an emotional level.



Whatever your teenager shares with you, JUST LISTEN. Don't ask any direct questions, nor JUDGE your teenager. Click To Tweet

Listening with interest and patience will invite further communication and sharing from your teenager.


Teenagers are more like to share if they don't feel the pressure to share. Click To Tweet

8. Do activities together

Communicating with your teen need not be ALWAYS verbal.

Doing activities TOGETHER like playing a video game, watching a movie, going out for lunch, etc. also help to strengthen your bond with your teenager.

9. Take interest in his interests

Indeed, the world of internet and social media has captivated our young minds.

However, they are also a treasure of knowledge. Teens of today prefer learning from apps and internet rather than their books. And you as a parent must support this initiative.

See what your teenager is interested in, listen, and use the net along with him/her. This helps you to connect with your teenage son/daughter, develop trust, and know what they do on the net without encroaching on their privacy.

What you shouldn’t say to your teenager?

Besides knowing how to talk to your teenager, you SHOULD also avoid saying these sentences to your teenager:

1. Follow this rule else you will be punished

You want your teenager to be a responsible individual, and therefore, adhere to the strictness over obeying the rules you make for him.

However, punishing or reprimanding him every now and then will not serve the purpose. You will only become a villain in his/her eyes.

2. Don’t you have common sense?

That’s a DIRECT attack on your teenager’s EGO and his cpabilities. AVOID it altogether.


3. Asking direct questions

Questions such as:

Which friend called you?

What did you talk with him/her?

This sounds like a CID officer. You are a parent, not an interrogation officer.

Yes, you are worried about him and therefore do so. But, instead of imposing questions, here’s what you SHOULD do:

Explain to him your cause for concern. That will make your teenager understand and REALISE your concern without getting IRRITATED and feeling ENCROACHED upon.

Like when he/she is going out with friends, just SAY:

I know you are going to enjoy with your friends. But, returning late gives me a sense of worry! Could you please inform where you are going and your time of return?

4. You have an AWFUL dressing sense

The dresses chosen by the teenagers currently are not in sync with your own apparel fashion. But, interfere only if it’s really necessary and for your child’s benefit.

5.You are always stuck to your phone

Parents need to regulate what their teenagers browse on the net, lest they may not fall a victim to anything unsafe. However, taunting and overwhelming with instructions doesn’t solve the purpose.

Instead, FOLLOW these tips for internet safety of your child.

Final Words on How to Talk to your Teenager

Now, FINALLY, I am sure you UNDERSTAND how to talk to your teenager.

Start acting on these tips right now and  take care of the sentences you should avoid saying.

If you follow them, I assure you and your teenager will UNDERSTAND each other well and form a beautiful relationship.

Wish you All the Best!  

Now, I want to hear from you! What’s your favourite tip for communicating with your teen? Share in the comments below!

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Dr Shivangi Aggarwal

Hi. I am Dr Shivangi Aggarwal, Founder, Mom and Me, practicing as a homoeopathic consultant for child diseases since 10 years. Raising a physically and emotionally healthy child is no less than a challenge today as it is encountered by many hurdles. "Mom and Me" holds your hand to overcome these challenges in the most practical way and give your child a future he will love.


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