I mean, let’s be honest. When your kid becomes a teenager, there are certainly days where you’re like, what is this alien life form that I’m living with? She used to be so sweet and we used to talk all the time.
What is that? And what is it trying to say and do?
So it can be frustrating as a parent to try to understand how to effectively communicate with your teen. Here’s my number one piece of advice. Do not whatever you do lecture. If you lecture, it accomplishes one thing. Them tuning you out.
And then you become the boy who cried wolf. You could have the world’s most important pertinent information and no one is listening.
Now as a parent, I’m a parent myself, it’s understandable sometimes to want to lecture, because you’ve got this important information. You’re like, I’ve got to get this through your thick skull.
Anytime you want to lecture, just rephrase the statement as a question. So instead of saying, “I can’t believe you did that.” Say, “tell me what went on. What did you learn? What would you do differently next time?”
You see, lecturing leads to kids tuning you out. Versus questions leads to critical thinking. And as a parent, that’s our entire goal, to get our kids, particularly our teens, to think critically, independent from us so that when they’re in a situation in college, at their job, in their life, and there’s a critical decision to be made, you have trained them in advance to be able to think critically.