Thanksgiving is almost here… That time of the year when families and friends gather around the table to give thanks, to communicate, to eat a lot of delicious food, and to fight over the remote control. That 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. ((see the full article here: http://www.empoweringparents.com/five-secrets-for-communicating-with-teenagers.php#) 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!)
(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!)
Have a PLEASANT and PRODUCTIVE Thanksgiving conversations with your families and your TEENS!