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With over ten years’ experience working with teens and over 20 years in total working in personal development of others, I don’t think there is a conversation I haven’t had in relation to communicating with teenagers.

So how can this help you?

Communicating with your teenager, as I’m sure you’ve already experienced, can be pretty challenging at times. Even the simplest of conversations have the potential to go either way and the outcome can simply be down to the way in which we communicate.

Or is it that simple?

It’s easier than you think! That’s why I’m going to share 8 ways to help you get a greater connection, better communication and in turn…. better outcomes! How do we do that? We do it by firstly becoming more aware of ourselves, more aware of our tone and more aware of our body language. Did you know that communication is 80% body language and 20% verbal; it’s what we don’t say that makes all the difference.

8 Top Tips to Becoming ‘Mindful’.

1. Knowing the theme of the conversation using active listening.
2. Knowing how you are feeling and how they are feeling.
3. Knowing how and where the conversation could lead
4. Knowing what you want the outcome to be (i.e. what you’d like them to understand and learn)
5. Having a plan (this is possible even with ‘impromptu chats)
6. Being aware of yourself and your own reactions
7. Being aware of your teenager and how they are responding.
8. Being respectful, open and aware that your teenager will have their own views, thoughts and opinions.

“Hmmmmmmm”, I hear you say… Maybe it isn’t that easy!

If you’re thinking with a positive, successful mindset then you should be looking at this list and thinking… great! I’ll start at number one!

Using my 8 top tips for making the most out of any conversation is something everyone is able to master. Let’s be honest, we are human and a part of our journey is to know that sometimes we don’t always get things right. However, it is important to recognise that if we make a mistake, it is how we deal with it afterwards that is vital. Your teenager is more likely to have respect for you if you are prepared to hold your hands up and say, ‘sorry, I made a mistake’. They are also more likely to learn more from you through your own honesty.

I often speak to parents about being brave and honest through being open when talking about how you could have done something differently. Being open and communicating this with your teenager promotes huge life skills in respecting others and themselves. It also demonstrates a very healthy way of dealing with relationships. It’s amazing stuff! And look, by doing this we can already tick number 6 – Being aware of ourselves and our own reactions.

You see it’s easier than you may have initially thought, so allow me to set you a challenge. Take my 8 top tips and give them a try. Take your time and enjoy how your conversations with your teenager change. The more you use them the more your confidence will grow and the more you’ll be inspired!

Sonia Hurren

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