COMMUNICATION TIPS FOR PARENTS OF TEENS
It is important to really know your child and encourage them to speak openly towards you about all matters. Here are some tips:
1. TALK AND LISTEN TO YOUR CHILDREN
Children do not always know why they behave certain ways. Speak to them about family values you see as significant (i.e. honesty, friendship, respect, etc.) Discuss situations they may have experienced when they felt bullied. Let them know that teasing, threatening, and hitting are all forms of abuse and that no one deserves to be treated in such a manner (including them).
2. SUPERVISE YOUR CHILDREN
There is nothing that is going to stop your child from behaving aggressively or inappropriately faster than you. Do not allow your child to play with other children who are overly obnoxious or aggressive.
3. TEACH YOUR CHILD TO PROBLEM SOLVE
It is never too soon to teach your child how to responsibly solve life’s problems. Begin by offering them hypothetical situations or even by talking to them about ones they may have seen on television. Have your child think of alternative ways in which to solve or answer different dilemmas.
4. ASK YOUR CHILD TO DEFINE THE MEANING OF FRIENDSHIP
It may be important to teach your children that friendship not only involves games and fun times, but also patience, trust, and understanding. If such qualities are offered, they will most likely be returned to your child.
5. REWARD YOUR CHILD FOR APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR
When possible, offer praise or small rewards to your child when they are conducting themselves politely, and do not over react when behavior needs mending.
6. TEACH SOCIAL SKILLS
Aside from role modeling good behavior yourself, teach your children that there are certain behaviors acceptable for home and elsewhere. It is necessary to teach them where and why certain actions are or are not allowed. Do not assume they will automatically know what is acceptable behavior.
7. BUILD ESTEEM
Children who are proud of who they are and feel at peace with themselves will find no reason to bully others. Empower them every day. Also, be sure to give them some chores or responsibilities to do themselves. Upon completion of these activities, they can look back at their work with pride, and this not only builds self-esteem, but confidence as well.