New Day Counseling
Macomb, Oakland, & Wayne County
Parenting Tips for Communicating with Children & Teens
by Krystal Kuehn, MA, LPC, LLP, NCC
<< Go to Home Page

<< Go to Self Help Articles
Love & Logic® Parenting Classes
More Information - Click here
Alcoholism Treatment
Alcoholism TreatmentAlcoholism TreatmentAlcoholism Treatment
Alcoholism Treatment
Family Therapists Troy MI
Call Today at 248-649-8050
Children need love, especially when they don’t deserve it. ~anonymous
There is nothing that adequately prepares us for the most important job 
there is—parenting.  Children and teens do not come with an owner’s 
manual, and most of our training is on the job.  With our own parents as 
our most prominent role models, we tend to repeat what we have learned 
about parenting from them.  We do our best, learn as we go, and make 
our own mistakes along the way; but we don’t have to leave our parenting 
to chance.  We can become more effective parents.  We can parent with 
more confidence instead of frustration.  Parenting can be enjoyable and 
rewarding instead of stressful.  

Following are some parenting tips for improving communication and 
building healthy and respectful relationships with our children and teens.  

(1) Show interest in your kids

One of the best ways to get anyone to talk is to show interest in them and what is important to them.  Sports, music, or any other activity provides great ways to connect and share.  Become engaged in whatever it is your child or teen enjoys.  It can be anything--watching a football game together, listening to songs and talking about favorite artists, watching your child draw or build model cars, or helping your daughter with her hair and nails.  

(2) Initiate conversations 

Often parents begin conversations with a question instead of simply sharing their thoughts.  Kids are more likely to engage in conversations when they do not feel they have to explain or defend themselves.  Letting them know you are thinking about them and that you care about what is happening in their lives are good ways to initiate conversations.  Timing is important as well.  Good times to talk might be bedtime, while driving, or at dinner.

(3) Make yourself available

Sometimes parents get so busy and don’t realize that their children 
feel there is no time left for them.  They do not express this directly 
saying, “You know, I’ve been feeling neglected lately.  It seems you’re 
so busy with everything and everyone else and don’t make time for 
me.  And when you are with me, you seem preoccupied and distracted.”   
They might, instead, distance themselves or act out for some negative 
attention.  Making time for kids can be a sacrifice, especially for very busy parents, but the investment is well worth it.  Developing a good relationship with one’s children requires time—both quality time and quantity of time. Planning weekly one-on-one time with no distractions is a good idea.  Kids want to know that they are important and valued.  Making yourself available to them communicates this loud and clear.

(4) Be a good listener

You know you have heard someone correctly when they feel understood.  One way to do this is to repeat what you think you heard back to them.  They will clarify what they meant if they think you are genuinely interested and trying to understand them.   Kids also need to feel safe when sharing their thoughts, with no fear of judgment, being cut off, or causing an angry reaction.  It is important to resist arguments and criticism.  When there are disagreements, parents can express that it is okay to disagree.  Although their thoughts and feelings differ, they are not rejecting their child.  Parents and their children will encounter many differences in opinion.  However, being a good listener lets your children know that you understand where they are coming from without lecturing or threatening.  

(5) Believe in your kids & use words to motivate them

If you see your children and teens as winners, beautiful, and full of potential, they will know it and act on it.  It will show in how you treat them and what you say.  As a result, they will believe in themselves as well.  Your words have power.  The words of a parent can motivate and empower for a lifetime.  They can also discouraged and break a child’s spirit if they are negative and critical.  We can all recall things our parents have said about us that we have carried with us throughout our lives, such as:  I believe in you.  You can do anything you set your mind to.  You are so smart and creative.  Or, you will never amount to anything.  You do not have what it takes.  You are the ugly one of the family.   Let us choose our words carefully.  Speaking good things over them, blessing them with our words motivates them to fulfill their purpose in life.

It is not easy parenting children and teens and knowing what to say or how to bring out the best in them.  Feeling connected and getting along with our kids takes time and effort.  The goods news is that parents and teens can have healthy connections that are founded upon trust and unconditional love. The parenting tips provided above are a good start to better communication and a more rewarding parenting experience.  For more tips or help with problems, parents may benefit from parenting classes or family counseling.  
Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do… but how much love we put in that action.
~Mother Theresa
Parenting Tips for Communicating with Children and Teens
Written by Krystal Kuehn, MA, LPC, LLP, NCC
Copyright © 2010 All Rights Reserved
Any use of this article without permission is strictly prohibited. Read entire Terms of Use

Krystal Kuehn, MA, LPC, LLP, NCC is a psychotherapist, author, teacher & musician. She is the cofounder of New Day Counseling, a marriage family counseling and child therapy center, BeHappy4Life.com, an award-winning, self-help and inspirational site where you can find hundreds of free resources, insights & inspiration, and Baby-Poems.com where you can find beautiful baby poemsbaby quotes & baby videos that will touch your heart & increase your joy & gratitude for the children you love & enjoy!

Parenting Children
Bookmark and Share
Parenting Advice
Copyright © 2014 All Rights Reserved
Terms of Use & Privacy Policy


MAIN: 
BLOGS:

GROUPS:
HomeServicesGroupsSelf Help ArticlesResourcesQuotesDonationJobsContact Us

ARTICLES:

SERVICES:


Counseling Center Serving Macomb County, Oakland County and Wayne County [Metro Detroit Area / Tri-County]

Providing Psychological Services for the Surrounding Areas: Royal Oak, Clawson, Birmingham, Rochester, Rochester Hills, Farmington Hills, Troy, Sterling Heights, Madison Heights, Macomb Township, Bloomfield Hills, Chesterfield, Plymouth, Southfield, Warren, Shelby Township, Clinton Township, Pontiac, Waterford, Detroit

ARTICLES:

2265 Livernois Rd, Suite 701, Troy, MI 48083
248-649-8050
Love & Logic® Parenting Classes
More Information - Click here
Get 50 uplifting text messages 
to encourage your child!
Encourage Your Child
You can encourage your child today with 50 uplifting, character-building, 
relationship strengthening, empowering text messages! More Info
Encourage Your Child
Children, teens & young adults need encouragement!