Teenage Communication

Desiree Cook, Reporter

When’s the last time you talked to your parents about school, relationships, or just how your day has been going? How long has it been since you went out somewhere with your parents?

As a child, you would remember coming home from school excited to talk about something that happened at school.

On the other hand, teenagers, are very different. From the ages 13 to 19 years old, the bond between a teenager and their parents weakens dramatically.

People strive to help their child live life to the fullest. But as a parent, it’s difficult to try and cope with the fact that their teenager does not want to talk to them anymore.

Online author Kristen Hatton surveyed teens on why they do not communicate with their parents  as much as they did in childhood. The answers she received varied from: “I do not trust them” to “They won’t help me,” “They will just try to fix me,” and “They will not understand”.

I asked two students if they communicate with their parents, and why. “I would rather talk to my friends because they understand the feeling better”.

Moving on, teenagers can be considered young adults, they have much more responsibilities and tend to stress out, act out, or disobey.

But let’s not focus on just the teenagers, a huge portion of this lack of communication has to do with the parents.

Parents focus on how successful their child becomes and they do care, but sometimes, parents just do not understand things as much as us teens would want them to.

For example, a teenager goes to their parents and explains that he/she did something wrong. According to Hatton, the immediate responses from parents are: “How could you do that?!” “You can’t be friends with that kid anymore,” or “I’m calling the other moms/dads”.

These are examples of why teenagers do not talk to their parents. They feel as if they do not care about why they did the thing they did; they immediately take action without the child’s side of the story, based on possible assumptions.

As a result, the child does not mention anything else to the parent(s) because of the previous response to the previous situation. And now a pattern formed.

If parents want to change this pattern, they listen to the whole story, instead of asking why. They need to let the child speak without cutting the child off or having an immediate response in anger or disappointment.  

Next, although teenager do not communicate with their parents, they still have others to talk to. For example, friends, teachers, other family. More people who they trust basically.

Many students including myself, believe that teenagers talk to their friends in substitute for parents because their ages are the same and they might be going through the same thing. That way it’s easier for them to understand the point of view.

Parents should be glad that their child can go to someone versus not talking about their issues or events to anyone.

Online Author, Kate Russell, shares basic tips about better communication with your teenager.

Don’t force your child to tell you anything, be understanding ,and do not tell them how you feel about them not talking to you, are some of the examples of a better way to communicate with your teenager.