HELP! They won’t listen to me! …Tips for communicating between parents and young people

Does this look familiar..?






The way we say things can affect how others receive what we say, and whether they really hear what we are saying.  It’s easy to be unclear and give mixed messages making it hard for the other person to hear what we are actually saying.  There are a number of traps that we can fall into when talking and these can make the other person become defensive or resistant to what we are saying, these could be called ‘communication traps’.  Here’s some ways to avoid those traps:

  • Be Clear
    • Avoid long explanations, keep it simple, short and sweet
  • Be Respectful
    • The other person is more likely to hear, understand and act on your message if you show respect
  • Look them in the eye
    • Helps to communicate that your listening and is respectful of the other person
  • Pick the right time and place
    • You want minimal distractions for a more effective time to communicate.  Plus don’t pick a time when the other person is highly stressed.
  • Make the most of the small everyday interactions
    • These casual positive moments can help you feel closer to each other
  • Keep your cool!
    • This can be a tough one as we both know that you know how to press each other’s buttons.  Try to avoid raising your voice or reacting
  • Listen
    • This is a hard one for both parent and young person, but it’s vital!  Have your say then stop to listen to what the other person has to say. Parents the more you talk and lecture the more likely you will lose your young person’s attention!
  • Be supportive
    • Parents let your young person know you’re there for them.  Try to show understanding, think back to what it was like when you were a teen!
  • Maintain a positive attitude
    • Look for the good, try not to put each other down as this only makes the other defensive and angry.

So there’s a few things you can do for better communication.  Just remember we are all learning and make mistakes.  Keep trying your best to put these things into practice… Good luck!


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