top of page

15 Best Strategies to Effectively Communicate with Your Teenager

Do you ever feel that your teen is always frustrated with you? Do you feel like they are not comfortable discussing their problems with you? If yes, it might be a sign of a communication gap between you and your teen.

According to the Nigerian Tribune, a communication gap between you and your child can lead your child towards mental health trauma. You would never want your child to have mental health disorder. So, let's give this blog a few minutes to read.

In this article, we will show you the 15 best strategies to effectively communicate with your teenager. You will get solutions to all the communication problems you have with them.

Best Strategies to Communicate with Your Teenager


In This Article


Why is Effective Communication with Your Teen Important?

Effective communication with your child is incredibly important for their strong relationship with you. If you are unable to communicate effectively with your child, you might negatively affect their personal growth and become unable to understand their needs and desires.

When you do not have healthy communication with your teen, they may resort to negative behaviours to express their emotions and frustrations. This can lead to a cycle of misbehaviour and indiscipline, which can be difficult to break.

15 Best Strategies to Effectively Communicate with Your Teenager

It can be difficult for parents to communicate effectively with their teenagers, especially when dealing with delicate or complex issues. Like teaching about cultural appropriation, discussing bullying or anything that lies in a complex ambit.

However, good communication is essential for developing a healthy and positive relationship with your teen. Here are the best 15 strategies and ways:

  • Start with Active Listening

  • Practice Empathy

  • Use I Statements

  • Be Clear and Concise

  • Avoid Judgement

  • Show Respect

  • Give Your Teen Space

  • Be Available

  • Ask Open-Ended Questions

  • Avoid Lecturing

  • Show Interest

  • Use Humor

  • Be Patient

  • Set Boundaries

  • Seek Professional Help

Let's dive into these strategies one after the other.

Start with Active Listening

Active listening is a skill that you have to develop in every relationship, particularly when communicating with your teen. It's essential to maintain eye contact, nod, and ask questions to show your teen that you are interested in what they have to say.

Interrupting a teen can make them feel as though their ideas and opinions are unimportant. So, wait until your teenager has finished their thoughts before responding.

If your teenager is sharing something emotional or difficult, acknowledge their feelings by saying things like, "I understand that this is hard for you" or "I can see why you feel that way." Be patient and give your teen the time they need to find the right words if they are having difficulty expressing themselves.

In this way, you can build trust and improve your relationship with your teen. It's important to create a safe and supportive environment where your teenager feels comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings with you.

Start with Active Listening
Start with Active Listening

Practice Empathy

Empathy is the ability to understand and share another person's emotions. Empathy with your teen is important because it allows you to understand their point of view and feelings, which can strengthen your relationship and improve communication.

Show your teenager that you understand and respect their feelings, even if you don't necessarily agree with them. Let them know that it's okay to feel the way they do. Let your teenager know that you're there for them and that you support them, no matter what. This can help build trust and strengthen your relationship.

Sometimes actions speak louder than words. Show empathy by doing something that will help your teenager feel better, such as offering a hug, making their favourite meal, or taking them out for an activity they enjoy.

When communicating with your teenager, practising empathy can help them feel understood and validated. Try to put yourself in their shoes and imagine how they feel in a particular situation.

Use "I" Statements

Using "I" statements instead of "you" can help prevent your teen from feeling attacked or defensive. Using the "I statement" is an important communication technique to help parents communicate more effectively with their teenagers.

The use of the "I statement" helps to express your thoughts and feelings in a non-confrontational way, which can help reduce conflict and improve understanding between you and your teenager.

For instance, instead of saying, "You never listen to me," try saying, "I feel like you're not listening to me."

"I statement" help you avoid blaming your teenager for their actions or behaviours. Instead of saying, "You always make a mess," you can say, "I feel frustrated when the room is messy."

It can also allow you to express your feelings clearly and directly. This can help your teenager understand how their actions are affecting you. This can also encourage your teenager to respond in a non-defensive way and promote more open communication.

Be Clear and Concise

When communicating with your teenager, it's essential to be clear and concise. Avoid using complicated language or long-winded explanations. Keep your message simple and to the point.

Clear and concise communication helps to set clear boundaries and expectations. This can help your teenager understand what is expected of them and what consequences will result from certain behaviours.

When you communicate clearly and concisely, you encourage your teenager to do the same. Avoid beating around the bush or using vague language. Be direct and to the point when communicating with your teenager.

Use language that your teenager can easily understand. Avoid using technical jargon or complicated words that may confuse them. After communicating with your teenager, check to make sure that they understood what you were saying. This can help prevent misunderstandings.

While communicating stay calm and avoid getting emotional. This can help keep the conversation focused and on track. Use nonverbal cues such as nodding and maintaining eye contact to show that you are actively listening to your teenager.

Be Clear and Concise
Be Clear and Concise

Avoid Judgement

Avoiding judgment can help your teen feel comfortable opening up to you. Instead of judging their behaviour or decisions, try to understand their perspective and offer guidance or support.

Try to see things from your teenager's perspective and understand where they are coming from. This can help you respond in a supportive and non-judgmental way.

Instead of immediately reacting with judgment, reframe your responses to be more neutral and understanding. This can help your teenager feel heard and validated. When discussing problems or issues, focus on finding solutions rather than placing blame or passing judgment.

If you find yourself feeling judgmental, take a step back and reflect on why you are feeling this way. This can help you respond in a more constructive and supportive manner.

When you avoid judgment, you create a safe space for your teenager to share their problems and concerns. This can lead to constructive problem-solving and finding solutions together.

Show Respect

Showing respect for your teen's thoughts and feelings can help build trust and strengthen your relationship. It's essential to avoid belittling or dismissing their ideas, even if you disagree with them.

When you show respect to your teenager, you build trust and mutual respect. This helps to create a positive and healthy relationship based on trust and understanding.

By showing respect to your teenager, you model respectful behaviour, which they are more likely to replicate in their interactions with others. Use positive language when communicating with your teenager. Avoid negative language, criticism, or sarcasm, which can come across as disrespectful.

Validate your teenager's feelings and show empathy for their experiences. This helps them feel heard and respected.

Give Your Teen Space

Giving your teen space to express themselves can help them feel more comfortable opening up to you. It's important to respect their boundaries and give them the freedom to communicate at their own pace.

Giving your teen space shows that you respect their privacy and boundaries. Giving your teen space also allows them to develop their independence and decision-making skills. It clearly and directly expresses itself and makes its own choices.

Be Available

Be Available to your teenagers
Be Available

Being available to your teen when they need to talk can help strengthen your relationship and build trust. Ensure they know they can come to you with any issues or concerns, and that you're there to support them.

When it comes to communicating with your teenager, being available is key. This means setting aside dedicated time to talk with your teen and being willing to listen without judgment.

Ensure they know they can come to you with any issues or concerns, and that you're there to support them. Make time for one-on-one conversations with your teen. This could be a weekly or monthly check-in, or just a few minutes each day to catch up.

Create a comfortable and non-judgmental space for your teen to talk to you. This could mean setting aside distractions and giving them your undivided attention. Ask open-ended questions to encourage your teen to share their thoughts and feelings.

For instance, "What's been on your mind lately?" or "How are you feeling about _____?"

Let's say your teen has been struggling with a difficult math class and seems discouraged. You could make time for a one-on-one conversation and ask how they feel about the class. You might ask open-ended questions like, "What's been challenging about the class?" or "How can I support you in this?"

Ask Open-Ended Questions

One effective strategy for communicating with your teenager is to ask open-ended questions. Open-ended questions cannot be answered with a simple "yes" or "no," but rather require a more detailed response.

For instance, instead of asking, "Did you have a good day at school?" you could ask, "What was the best part of your day?" This type of question encourages your teenager to elaborate and provide more detail, which can help you better understand their perspective.

Asking open-ended questions can also demonstrate to your teenager that you are genuinely interested in what they have to say. This can lead to more open communication and improve your relationship with your teenager.

Additionally, open-ended questions can help you avoid assumptions or misunderstandings about your teenager's experiences or feelings. Asking open-ended questions is a simple but effective communication strategy that can make a big difference in your relationship.

Avoid Lecturing

Avoid Lecturing
Avoid Lecturing

When it comes to communicating with teenagers, avoiding lecturing is a crucial strategy. Lecturing often involves talking to your teenager rather than engaging in a dialogue with them. This can make teenagers feel as if their opinions and feelings are not being heard or valued.

To avoid lecturing, try to ask open-ended questions that prompt your teenager to share their thoughts and feelings.

For instance, instead of saying "You need to do your homework every night", you could try saying, "How do you feel about your workload this week? "Do you feel like you have enough time for homework?"

By asking questions like these, you can engage your teenager in a conversation that encourages them to express themselves.

Show Interest

Parents are special to every child and when they show interest in children's lives, they realise it. Showing interest in your teen's life can help them feel valued and understood. Take an interest in their hobbies and activities, and ask them about their day.

To do this, you can try to understand their hobbies, interests, and aspirations. For instance, if your teenager enjoys playing basketball, you could ask them about their favourite team or player, and show enthusiasm for their interests.

Another way to show interest is by attending your teenager's events or activities, such as sports games or concerts. This shows your teenager that you are invested in their lives and value their interests.

You could also offer to participate in an activity that they enjoy, like cooking or gardening. This can create a shared experience and help build a stronger connection between you and your teenager.

Let's say your teenager enjoys playing video games. You could ask them about their favourite games, characters, and strategies to show interest in their hobby. You could also offer to play a game with them or watch them play and show enthusiasm for their interests.

Show Interest
Show Interest

Use Humour

Using humour can help diffuse tense situations and lighten the mood. However, it's essential to use humour in a way that doesn't belittle or dismiss your teen's feelings. Incorporating humour can be a powerful tool for making communication more relaxed and engaging.

First, use humour as a way to diffuse tension. When a conversation starts to get heated or uncomfortable, a well-timed joke or funny remark can help break the tension and lighten the mood.

For instance, if your teenager is upset because they got a bad grade on a test, you could say something like, "Well, I guess we'll just have to enrol you in clown school instead!"

Secondly, use humour to show that you are approachable and relatable. Teenagers often feel like their parents don't understand them or their struggles, so making light of your own mistakes or embarrassing moments can help them feel more comfortable opening up to you.

For instance, you could share a funny story from your teenage years or make a self-deprecating joke about your lack of technological skills.

Finally, use humour to create shared experiences. Finding ways to laugh together can help strengthen your bond and create positive memories.

Be Patient

Effective communication with your teenager takes time and patience. It's important to remain calm and patient, even when discussing difficult topics. Teenagers are at a stage where they are exploring their identity and trying to establish independence.

Patience involves giving your teenager space and time to express themselves. This may require you to avoid interrupting them or providing unsolicited advice. Instead, you can try to actively listen to what they have to say, acknowledge their feelings, and provide validation.

For instance, if your teenager tells you that they are having a hard time at school, you can say something like, "I understand that it can be tough, and I am here to support you in any way I can."

Remember! Patience is a key ingredient in effective communication with teenagers, and it can go a long way in improving your relationship with them.

Set Boundaries

Setting boundaries can help your teen understand what is and isn't acceptable behaviour. However, it's important to establish these boundaries in a way that is respectful and collaborative.

For instance, if you want your teenager to be home by a certain time, make sure they know what time they are expected to be home and the consequences for breaking that rule. It is also important to be consistent in enforcing these rules.

Another important aspect of setting boundaries is being firm. It can be difficult to say no to your teenager, especially if they are upset or angry, but it is important to stand your ground.

Remember, you are the parent, and it is your job to set boundaries and provide guidance for your teenager. If your teenager is upset or angry, listen to their concerns, but don't let them push you into changing your mind.

Set Boundaries
Set Boundaries

Seek Professional Help

If you're struggling to communicate with your teenager, seeking professional help can be beneficial. A therapist or counsellor can provide you with the tools and resources you need to communicate effectively with your teen.

These professionals are trained to help parents and teenagers communicate more effectively and can offer valuable insights and techniques to help improve the relationship between parent and child.

One benefit of seeking professional help is that it can provide a neutral space for both parents and teenagers to express themselves without judgment. The therapist or counsellor can act as a mediator, facilitating communication between parent and teenager and helping to resolve any issues or conflicts that arise.

Takeaway from Sheasmother

In conclusion, effective communication with teenagers can be a challenging task for many parents. It is essential for maintaining a healthy relationship and creating a positive environment for growth and development.

Remember to listen actively, be patient and understanding, and set clear expectations and boundaries. Always strive to maintain an open and honest dialogue with your teenager, and don't be afraid to seek professional help if you're struggling to connect.

136 views4 comments


Absolutely Innovative and purposeful work

Muniba Afzal
Muniba Afzal
Jul 11, 2023
Replying to

We're happy to know!


Greetings..!! A very well-organised and well-researched article with a practical approach. Hope to have more from the writer. Regards Khurram

Muniba Afzal
Muniba Afzal
Jul 11, 2023
Replying to

Thanks Khurram for giving it a read!

bottom of page