How To Communicate Effectively WIth Your Teen

Jerry Weichman, PhD, shares advice for parents on how to effectively communicate with their teenage kids including how to get them to give more than one word responses
Advice For Parenting Teens | How To Communicate Effectively
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How To Communicate Effectively WIth Your Teen

The top tips for communicating with your teen are: number one, you’ve got to understand as a parent that they exist in two separate worlds – they’ve got home and school. And they’re vastly different. Most parents, because of how busy their life is take the opportunity to try to… the minute the kid comes in through the door literally from the car or to the home go, “How was your day?” “What happened?” “How was school today?” This is how you get the one-word utterances. “Fine.” “Good.” “Nothing.” Because for them what it’s like it’s crossing into another world – they open the door and when you hit them up with those questions right away it’s like a bunch of hands coming at them. Their natural tendency is going to be to do this. So what I think parents need to do is allow that 30 to 45 minutes settle in time, saying, “Hey, good to see you. I missed you today.” And then be quiet. And allow them to settle into their life. Then re-approach them with, “Hey, how was your day?” “What was going on?” And if you still are getting the one-word utterances, just say, “Hey, look, what are the high points and the low points of your day? And I’ll leave you alone.” I think also parents need to sit back and listen to their kids. On top of it, if you’re going to talk to your kid as a parent, you have to understand, you have 30 to 60 seconds to communicate and talk to your kid and outside of that everything becomes wah, wash, wah, wah to them. So take advantage. Make it short. Make it concise. 30 seconds and you’re good.

Jerry Weichman, PhD, shares advice for parents on how to effectively communicate with their teenage kids including how to get them to give more than one word responses


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Jerry Weichman, PhD

Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Jerry Weichman is a licensed psychologist and adolescent specialist as well as an author, speaker and parenting expert. His clinical practice at Hoag Hospital's Neurosciences Institute in Newport Beach, California provides a window on contemporary teen and pre-teen behavior.

“Dr. Jerry” as his adolescent patients call him, is a young PhD who really relates to teens, speaks their lingo and has felt their pain. Author of the teen survival guide, How to Deal, and noted media expert on teen issues, Dr. Jerry is focused on helping teens cope with parents, teachers, friends and academic pressure, communicating with them in a way they understand to help successfully navigate the dramas and pressures of adolescence.

Dr. Jerry's popular speeches, lectures and seminars have presented assemblies of students, teachers, parents and administrators with practical approaches on how today’s teens can overcome the trials and tribulations of growing up, from coping with bullying to meeting parental academic expectations to walking away from drugs and other self-destructive behaviors. Jerry also sits on the board of directors for the Bullying Prevention Initiative of California and just recently sat on an expert panel for a screening of the documentary Bully.

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