Came across this great blog today by Anita Cleare on Thinking Parenting: Communicating with teenagers: top tips for parents.
Great advice I think for communicating with teenagers. Reflecting on it, some of this I think I am already aware of and do (or try to do):
Side by side I particularly agree with – car journeys or walking the dog are great times for me to talk with ours.
Being a good role model – being the person we want them to grow up to be – communicating the way we want them to communicate. Totally aware of this one and try to be. Think I’m a much better role model now in the way I communicate with hubby. Need to work more on the way I communicate with the girls though – think I still use some styles I wouldn’t want them to.
Family meetings though is one I’ve thought about before and we’ve never implemented. Think we should. I like Anita’s advice of keeping it short and sticking with it as well as making sure there are some quick wins. The times we’ve tried family meetings have usually been in crises. When things are so bad for us as a family, in the past hubby has called it, I’ve even been a reluctant participant. They’ve gone on for far too long and although we’ve given the girls their chance to speak, it’s been a bit of a ‘lecture’ from us.
I’ve always believed communication is at the heart of a successful marriage – the way we get through those tough times when we feel we’re growing apart or things are just plain crap and maybe this marriage isn’t going to work after all.
This has reminded me that communication is also at the heart of successful parenting (particularly of teens) and I need to (1) model better communication – I still have some way to go growing up myself I think, I still catch myself communicating in ways that are pretty childish frankly; (2) I reckon family meetings could work well for us – need to think through how – positive, short and with quick wins.