Communication Skills

Habits and behaviours that get formed during adolescence tend to exert an influence throughout one's life. Development of adequate communication skills is an important aspect during this phase. The ability to communicate may have a great effect on one's daily functioning and quality of life. 
 
Adolescence is a time of rapid change, not just for the adolescent but also for the parents. It is important for the parents to keep communication open with their adolescents to facilitate a positive growth. Communication is an on-going process and parents and adolescents both, can work together to develop openness and understanding between them.
 
Parents may improve communication skills in adolescents by:
 
  • Listening calmly, and with awareness to understand the adolescent's point of view.
  • Helping adolescents build self-confidence by encouraging their participation in activities of their choice.
  • Making an effort to appreciate their child frequently and appropriately.
  • Encouraging adolescents to 'test' new ideas in conversation by helping them and creating a non-judgmental environment. 
  • Encouraging the adolescents to participate in family decision making wherever necessary.
  • Avoiding negative communication with adolescents as it may be a cause of conflict.
  • Focusing on non-verbal communication of the adolescent.
  • Seeking help from trained professionals to bridge the communication gap between parents and adolescents.
 
Well-developed communication skills are essential for adolescents to foster a healthy relationship between them and their parents. This helps the parents to understand what their adolescent is thinking and/or feeling, thereby reducing the gap, and allowing openness and trust to develop.
 
"Communication is one of the most important skills you require for a successful life." - Catherine Pulsifer