Communication is key in any relationship. With all the technology we have, it is surprising the amount of communication that does not occur. Communicating with teens is hard. And yet it is the single, most important, factor in helping a struggling teen thrive.
In my work with teens and their parents, I find that one of the most common and primary “complaints” or problems that bring families to seek additional support for their teen or child is communication, or lack thereof. In reality communication is occurring, but it may be muddled up and mixed with feelings of overwhelming need, worry, frustration, concern, anger, reactivity, defensiveness, or resistance on both ends. The challenge for parents then becomes finding the best way to share concerns and address “problems” with your teen in a way that is constructive and collaborative and focused on building solutions.
One of the most effective and challenging ingredients in navigating the changing relationship with your teen is to see them, accept them, and acknowledge with them that they are changing and becoming an adult. This does not mean that they
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