To receive one training credit, please read the article below and answer the following questions.
Listen. Avoid jumping to conclusions. Parents and adults should not make assumptions about what teenagers are thinking and feeling.
Try to understand. Teens overwhelmingly believe that being a teen today is completely different from what it was like 10, 20, or 30 years ago. Adults who compare what they went through as teens to today's teens, without being asked, immediately alienate themselves from teens.
Spend quality time together. Meal time remains a special time to share experiences and feelings. Avoid contentious subjects such as school, the future boyfriend/girlfriend relationships. Steering clear of these topics will increase the flow of parent-teen discussions.
Talk little. Listen lots. At least once a week, set aside time to talk. For every hour of time spent together, 45 minutes should consist of the teen talking and the parent listening without interrupting.
Be real. Adult need to be themselves and act like human beings rather than trying to be their idea of what ‘adults' should be.
Be receptive. Teens can help adults communicate better by telling them when they think adults are not listening. Take their feedback into consideration.
Be approachable. Whenever a teen wants to talk, be available. Teens, however, acknowledge that lots of times they lock themselves in their rooms and are inaccessible.
Look at every situation from both points of view. Consider the teens perspective instead of just your own.
Spend time with your family. Make it a priority. Young people sometimes feel ashamed of themselves or neglected when they don't have any family around.
Show that you are really listening with your body language. Nod and make eye contact instead of looking away or fidgeting.
Be realistic. If your expectations are impossible to meet, teens' self-esteem can suffer.
Tell the truth. When adults lie to young people, it shows a lack of respect for them. When adults are honest, youth learn to trust others.
Lead by example. Adults help young people by getting a good education, having and keeping a job and practicing what they preach. This is especially important where substance abuse is involved. Adults have no credibility when they tell teens not to smoke or drink and then do it themselves.
Be open and honest. Teens who have open relationships with their parents are better able to make positive decisions and express themselves with confidence, without succumbing to peer pressure.
Source: 2002 Ulrich Report Card