Creating Open Lines Of Communication With Your High School Student
High school can be a wonderful time during which you watch your child transition from adolescent to adult. It can also be a challenging time of change for your child as they navigate the complex waters of teenagehood. The best thing a teenager can have in their life during the highs and lows is a parent who is involved and that they feel comfortable talking to about their day-to-day life.
If you are working to create stronger communication between you and your high school student, we are here to help. At Resurrection Christian School, we encourage parents to play an active role in the development of their high school student. Read on to learn more about how you can create open lines of communication with your high school student.
Always Have Time
In order for your high school kid to feel comfortable approaching you to talk about their struggles and celebrations, they need to know you have time for them. If you are always in a rush and constantly on the go, it might be hard for your child to approach you.
Make sure you carve out time specifically set apart for your high schooler. During this dedicated period of time, you can ensure your child knows you are there to listen and engage with them and only them. Turn off your work phone, cellphone, and any other distraction. You can use this time to go out together, to enjoy a meal they like, or to take a hike. However you spend this time, the goal is to ensure your child knows they come before your busy schedule.
Not only should you dedicate some time each week to engage one-on-one with your high schooler, you should also make it clear that any time of any day, they are your priority. Always have time for communication.
Be Patient And Practice Empathy
High school can be a confusing period. Many kids go through some pretty steep ups and downs. Their body is changing, their hormones raging, and their mood can swing from high to low in no time at all. While it can be frustrating to deal with teenagers in certain moments, always practice patience and empathy when you are communicating with them.
If you express anger and judgment, your high schooler will stop turning to you when they need to talk about their life. When you find yourself frustrated with their actions, attitude, or decisions, take the time to calm down before you talk to them. Try to remember what it was like to be a teenager and empathize with the changes they are going through.
Above all else, your teen wants to be respected and treated with dignity. Make sure you are expressing your love for them, even during the difficult times.
Make Listening A Priority
It is human nature to want to do the majority of talking and teaching, without taking the time to fully listen. Make sure that when your child comes to you to talk about their life, you stop to listen. Not only is listening important so that they feel heard, it is also setting an example to your teenager about how communication works. If you find that you constantly are battling to talk over each other, make listening a new priority.
Let your high schooler know that you want to improve on listening to them and set the example by following through.
Know When To Apologize
Just because you are the parent, doesn’t mean that there aren’t times you were at fault. When you realize you have made a mistake, handled communication poorly, or hurt your teenager, have the humility to apologize. The best leaders are those who lead humbly with an open heart.
Take the time to recognize when you were in the wrong and express your apology to your child.
Keep Things Consistent
For many teens, high school is a confusing time. When your teenager has a constant barrage of inconsistent messaging, they can quickly become isolated from you. This is not only damaging to your relationship but also potentially dangerous if they should wind up in trouble and seek advice from the wrong place.
Keep things consistent in their life. Make sure the messaging they hear across the board encourages them to have a strong and honest relationship with you. Consider enrolling them in a private high school in Loveland that will reinforce the same values you teach at home. Consistency goes a long way in helping your teenager navigate high school smoothly. Here at Resurrection Christian School, we place a high value upon the family unit and always encourage our students to seek out the advice of their parents. If you are interested in enrolling your high schooler into a private school, we encourage you to book a tour at our facility today.
By building open lines of communication between you and your teen, you can ensure their safety and well-being as they transition from child to adult.