10 Ways to Keep the Lines of Communication Open


During teen years, it is so important to keep the lines of communication with our daughters open. However, it is not always easy. Here are a few tips to help...

Teen years.

They are difficult. They are awkward. They are emotional.

During these years it is so important to keep the lines of communication with our daughter open. However, it is not always easy. Here are a few tips to help:

  • Be available. Tell her with your words and your actions that you are here for her.
  • Listen. Really listen to what she says. Don’t interrupt her, let her speak as you simply listen.
  • Make eye contact. When she talks to you, look her in the eye. If you are preoccupied with your cell phone, computer, book, magazine, etc, she doesn’t feel as though you are really listening to her.
  • Do not make fun of her feelings. Laughing with her is wonderful, but never laugh at her. If she thinks you will make fun of her feelings and ideas, she won’t want to share them with you.
  • Don’t go to her guns blazing. If you are upset with her, tell her. Let her know that you are upset and that you need some time to cool down so that you calmly discuss the situation with her.
  • Have ‘off-line’ times. These days our kids {and us moms} are so connected to cell phones that we tend to spend more time talking over a screen and ignoring those face to face with us. Have set times in your home where screens are shut down so that you can communicate with your family.
  • Start discussions from things you see. Some of the best ways to get a feel for how your daughter views something is to talk about it. For example, if your daughter is telling you about something that happened to someone else at her school, ask how she feels about it and how she would deal with it if it were her. Or if you see a girl at the mall where inappropriate clothing, ask your daughter what she thinks about the clothing and what might be a better choice.
  • Keep her secrets. What your daughter tells you in confidence, keep it that way. If she knows you are going to blab her secrets to your friends, she won’t be comfortable sharing with you. She needs to understand that there will be times you need to share with her Dad. Otherwise, keep her secrets. {Side note – if she shares with you of a friend being abused in any way, or any other serious situation, of course you need to use your discretion to share when needed.}
  • Share your experiences with her. As women we know that often we feel we are alone in this world; the only one who has ever felt this way. She feels that way too. Share your own experiences with your daughter. This lets her know she is not alone and builds a bond with you.
  • Life doesn’t always have to be so serious. Have fun with her. Laugh with her. Do the things she likes to do. This builds your relationship which will be a help in the more serious time.

What other tips do you have for keeping the communication lines open with your teenager?

Written By Jenifer Metzger

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