It’s always difficult to communicate with teenagers, particularly when it comes to the rules. You want to make it clear that your rules are for their happiness and safety, but they often see it as a way to trap them under your control. From there, it makes it difficult to talk about anything. When speaking to defiant teenage boys, they often take everything you say and blow it out of proportion, intensifying the problem.
Most of the time, your son is still looking for your love and approval, even though his words and actions say otherwise. This underscores the importance of continued communication. Even when you think it’s a lost cause, it’s worth the effort to talk to your son continually, despite his negative reactions. Here are some suggestions for improving communication with your son.
Try Indirect Communication
When your teen is struggling with something serious like substance abuse or bad grades in school, avoid getting preachy. Instead of telling him what he should do, indirectly approach the problem. You might bring up statistics about dangerous drug use or tell a story about someone you know whose life went downhill after he dropped out of school. Indirect communication isn’t always the best tactic, but when your teenager refuses to listen to your direct advice, this method is worth a shot.
Don’t Solve His Problems
Instead, teach him how to solve his own problems. Teens who are not made responsible for their mistakes will not learn from them, encouraging repeat cycles. When you require that your son cleans up his own messes, he’ll learn extremely valuable lessons that can give him perspective on the bigger picture.
Being an example of your expectations is very important in helping your teen understand the importance of it. If you preach about the dangers of alcohol abuse but drink a six-pack every night, your actions will speak much louder than your words.
Don’t Drop Hints
Being clear in communication is very important. When you start dropping hints about expectations for your son, he may get confused about what you really want. Additionally, he may become angry because he believes you’re communicating with passive aggression. Consistent, clear communication is best for teens who don’t want to listen.
Get to the Bottom of It
There’s always an underlying cause of teenage defiance. By listening closely and observing the actions of your son, you can begin to understand his point of view more clearly. When you can sympathize with his actions, communication will come a lot easier.
Dealing with troubled teens is extremely difficult. For more information about resources and methods for handing any situation with your teenage son, read more on our site at Sundance Canyon Academy.