Adolescence is a fundamental stage of change for psychological development; however, it is also a time in our life when it is relatively common for us to have miscommunication with the rest of the family, which causes all kinds of problems between parents and children.
This is due, in part, to the fact that in relatively few months young people have moved from the behavior of their parents as a reference to the behavior of other young people their age, particularly those who are slightly older. , almost like a reference. This rapid change disrupts family dynamics and clashes with what fathers and mothers have expected of their sons and daughters until now.
To better understand this type of phenomenon, we will talk here about common communication problems between parents and their teens.
The main communication problems between adolescents and their parents
These are the most common types of communication blockages between teens and their parents.
1. Communication deficits due to mismatched expectations
As we have seen, there are many families who are slow to accept that the little one in the house is no longer a child and he has entered a stage that will transform him physically and mentally.
As this change happens rapidly, it is very common for difficulties to arise in understanding what you are doing, saying or thinking, simply because parents analyze their actions from the interpretive framework they used when they were still in childhood. . Difficult to get rid of these inertias.
2. Misunderstanding with your friends
The type of friendship that forms during adolescence is another cause of discomfort in the relationship between parents and adolescent children, usually out of fear that these young people will be a bad influence, that is to say fear that these new friendships will lead your son or daughter down the path of bad habitsdrugs, vandalism, etc.
We must not forget that teenagers insist on seeking autonomy in their free time and that they tend not to want to explain everything they do. This lack of information leads many parents to adopt a hypervigilant attitude and to interpret in a pessimistic way what adolescents are doing.
3. Differences in the way of seeing life
Not only do they count age differences; There are also important generational differences that can make it open a cultural gap between teenagers and their parents. Many middle-aged people find it difficult to understand what their children are saying, simply because of their use of neologisms, internet memes, etc.
Also, during adolescence, it is common for the child to develop their own political and ideological convictionswhich do not always have to correspond to those of your parents or your family.
This difference of opinion can eventually lead to conflicts and discussions on all those issues on which you do not agree with the child, which causes a lot of discomfort in family life.
4. Less family time
Adolescence is a time when a child needs to set boundaries with his parents and the world around him. create personal spaces to enjoy some privacy.
However, when the child separates too much from his parents and gradually stops spending time with his family, it is when there are real problems of communication and living together that must be resolved so that the adolescent does not not feel left out and that the parents put themselves in your place. child.
In the most extreme cases, teenagers may channel their frustrations through disrespect towards their parents, as such attacks are more common in their age group.
Obviously, in such cases, communication is very busy. No relationship can be positive if it is not based on respect and cordialityand this also includes the relationship between parents and their adolescent children, a stage in which respect and emotional support are needed more than ever.
What to do?
At the time of improve communication between teens and parentsconsider these key ideas:
- Do not prejudge, understand that teenagers have developed their own generational culture and that makes sense in their logic.
- Respect the fact that you will need much more privacy than when you were a child.
- Don’t just bombard with questions or get defensive, start conversations that you contribute to as well.
- Explain your perspective on why you care about what you do, showing your more human side.
- If everything gets too complicated, seek professional psychological help.
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- Horse, V. (1983). Social skills training and assessment manual. Madrid: Acronym XXI.
- Mortensen CD (2008). Communication theory. New York: Routledge.
- Trenholm, S.; Jensen, A. (2013). Interpersonal communication. New York: Oxford University Press.