When is that good time of the year when it’s good to take a chance on communicating with your teen, even if you have given up or feel like giving up? That time of the year when you want to meet your teen’s “Dude, you just don’t understand! Leave me alone” with another attempt to bridge the two worlds that separate you. I recently read an article in “Parent Empowerment”, and it made me think of how much building communication with your teen is like running a business.
Yes, I know what you’re thinking: there’s noting “business” about your emotional, eye-rolling, and mood-swinging teen, but trust me when I say that adopting these rules below will turn things in the right direction. After all, when you run a business or are a part of a company, you know that emotions don’t take you far. Neither does being needy and making decisions when emotions run high. You know that teamwork always prevails, so you want to start using “we” in conversations more often. No matter how young your teen may seem, they feel like adults in many aspects, so bring in their expertise on a subject, and watch their eyes light up!
Gif courtesy of Giphy.com
Ready to try the “more-like-a-business” approach? Just 5 Simple Rules:
(Don’t go into the usual, “I understand, but…” It immediately disqualifies their emotions. Instead, think of your business environment, where you do things as part of a team, with “Let’s see how WE can do it better!” approach.)
(YOUR emotions that is. Teens aren’t good at controlling theirs, so you will have to take the lead. After all, do you ever close a business deal at an emotional level?)
(Ask inquisitive questions – the kind that provokes a light-hearted conversation and NOT about school. Ask about something they are passionate about, even if you don’t know about it. Much like in business – learn from their expertise! Better yet – help them find their own passion! Learn more how they can develop it here.
(In business world you need to make your own decisions regardless of others’ choices. If a teen is upset, it’s ok to walk away and not engage. You don’t need to control your teen to control your own behavior!)
(When you work on a project in work environment, you do it when you are clear-headed and calm. You need to act the same way around your teen – no progress is made when you either of you or both are heated up!)
You see much like in business, the worst thing we can do to the new generation is to impose our limitations and experiences on them. Think – 20 years ago making a phone call on the street was impossible. Today, we do that and run multi-million dollar corporations from the beaches of the world via all the gadgets that someone has imagined.
Would you go to a dentist to ask about brain surgery? Then, why as parents do we find it necessary to be the authority over everything? How can you teach your teen about entrepreneurship if you worked at a job your whole life? What can you teach them about SATs if you never went to college? So, encourage your teen to make the impossible – possible. Teach them to reach out to the correct sources of information, to think bigger than you (and them) can imagine.
Communication with teens that comes from the position of you not being an expert on everything will encourage the teens to open up to you more. They already live the “perfect” world: full of social media glamor, airbrushed pictures and fake news. They need people who are close to them to remain fallible, so they aren’t embarrassed to share their mistakes with you and ask for better ways to do things.
And if you are looking for more ways to inspire your teen, learn more: