Tips for Parents and Teens

What I am about to communicate to you may make a significant impact to you, your children, and consequently, the family’s future. Before I could communicate this to you, I wish to highlight to you that the tips are way more effective than how I am about to communicate it. The tips do work, however how much you and your children may gain from this article, is somewhat depended on my ability to communicate all these to you. (wink wink.. there you have it, the complexities of communication.)

In my experience in providing counselling to students and parents (Yes, I am a full-time counsellor for private and even public schools here in Kuala Lumpur), having effective communication is absolutely vital. Communication is more often one-way, disengaged or in many growing cases, cold war.

There is no doubt parents are working hard for the money and providing every need possible for the child. Yet we, the counsellors noticed that children are just getting tougher and more difficult to communicate with. Parents also are getting more frustrated in not being able to influence, persuade, demand, and most traditionally, nag the child to comply with basic request.

Let me assure you it is neither a mental disorder nor a societal conspiracy to make life difficult for being a parent. No one is in need for a fix or cure, because it’s really about effective 2-way communication. The tip sounds logical and simple enough that you could buy a book off the shelf or even attend your company’s communication workshop. But try communicating to your kids today your request for him/her to stop playing computer games; study more, clean up your room, and the famous phrase “how many times must I ask you to …?” You may then truly notice how complex this process can be without further development.

Having the family improve in effective communication is and more often than not, an extremely viable solution. There are many examples but I will give two very common styles which many families will eventually end up in, the Cold War and the Disengaged communication.

Cold War – Parents and child may agree in 9 things (sleep by 12, eat your vegetable, no online porno, brush your teeth…etc) and only disagree with one thing (eg, I want to be a rock star while my parent only want me to be a Doctor) However, one party is smart enough to make the other so frustrated that they just got tired of responding or even talk about all other things. Both parties often wear each other up and ultimately settle with cold silence, because any communication is going to end up nowhere.

Disengaged Communication – This is like talking to each other but you talk about surface issues only. (Eg. Have you eaten, do your home work, can I buy an Iphone4, when is dinner ready…etc) besides expressing anger and frustration, both parties more often than not settled with non-emotional method to communicate with each other.

I know I am beginning to sound like I am talking about a marriage…haha. It is still about communication. A trained counsellor and family therapist would be able to support and improve communication between parents and teens in order to achieve a win-win point for all.

Teenager are brighter, smarter and more advance than many parents nowadays, hence it is important for us adults to respect their highly evolved and intelligent mind with an improve communication system (not indicating that you should Tweeter or Facebook your kids for instructions). Let’s embrace and acknowledge them for having an abundance of knowledge which we adult may not fully comprehend. (Period… no BUTs!)

If you didn’t get my point about the significance of enhancing family communication, then it just proves that my lack of effective communication caused you to not discover new solutions to your growing challenge of becoming an awesome family unit.

Cheers!

Nicholas Wong

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Nicholas Wong

Program Coordinator
People Development Consulting (PDC)

019-361 8977
email: nic@asknat.org

Address: Room1, 1st Floor, SECITA Building,
4A, Jalan SS5D/6, Kelana Jaya,
47301, Petaling Jaya,
Selangor D.E. Malaysia