Communication is key in talking with your teen!
We all need to work on our communication skills, frankly. In today’s society communicating and understanding it is at an all-time high and low, depending on how you look at it.
Every day we are bombarded with individuals who want acceptance, people triggered by specific issues, and the overall lack of listening to one another.
It seems everyone today wants to be heard and recognized, but they do not want to acknowledge or listen to others — a severe form of narcissism.
No time in history has it been possible to communicate across the world. To share personal knowledge and experience to another person clear across the world, that does not even speak the same language.
But we have the tools to translate that barrier.
An aspiring individual can open an online store.
Set up drop shipping from a factory he or she has never been too.
They can hire individuals across the world to help them set up an online business to create an online store.
An individual can earn money through having thousands, sometimes millions, of followers on social media. They can express themselves, share their knowledge and experiences.
We can live vicariously and travel the world with nomad travel vloggers.
My point is that today, the world can communicate in real-time. We can share knowledge and experiences like no other time in history.
Have you spent time teaching how to properly communicate with people on the internet (social media), in person and over the phone?
Maintain and establish guidelines with your teen to keep them safe and what is tolerated in your household.
Social Media, Tinder, & The Internet Oh My!
Besides, teaching the importance to your child how to communicate in a person to person scenario. The most offensive and dangerous attacks these days usually comes from social media.
There is an empowerment to an individual, whether a child or adult, to have anonymity. An alter ego can emerge, the safety of hiding behind a keyboard, and having no immediate repercussions.
For instance, in person, if some people said what they say on Facebook or even through text.
They would have to face physical, verbal, or emotional backlash.
When you argue with someone, you can not say the things that generally happen freely to say over text. Perhaps you don’t want the drama or its to mean to speak in public. On the flip side, text has no reference to the tone of what you mean, hence why so many text messages and emails are misconstrued.
As a parent, it is a responsibility to instill responsibility for your words, on top of your actions. Not just spoken but written or typed. What you say or what your teen says can have unforeseen consequences. One must learn to own and avoid these actions.
Educated your child or teen:
- What is appropriate and not appropriate to post or chat about.
- What photos are appropriate and not appropriate to be taken with their phone or with anyone.
- When social media, texting and surfing the internet is allowed and not allowed.
- The value and the power of words we use, the order which we use them and how we use them
- That they have a personal responsibility to uphold. Their actions online can have serious repercussions.
- What to look for and notice a when someone is acting like a pedophile or trolling them
- When you, as the parent, should be warned if something happens. Tell your child when to talk to you if certain things occur.
Some of these things sound like a no brainer, and some you may have never crossed your mind. The point is to create guidelines with your child, understanding when to talk to you when an issue arises.
If you never bring it up, they will never think of it.
Hence, why there are so many stories of parents complaining that they did not know what was going on with their child.
Read these articles to help identify problems on the line
Here are some known symbols to look for when noticing pedophiles. Strangely the mall close to us has one of these symbols as there logo with no alteration.
My mother uses the next door app religiously and tells me of stories where parents have caught pedophile behavior in their neighborhoods.
I also have witnessed a check out clerk wearing a necklace like one of the symbols listed below. It was a triangle with another triangle, precisely like the ones shown on this FBI document.
Educated and inform your child to identify these things to keep them safe. Knowing these symbols can alert you and your children of threats.
The Tinder problem
My daughter has been honest with me that her friends at school play around with the Tinder app at lunchtime.
They find it hilarious swiping through the photos and seeing if they match with someone.
Above all, the biggest issue is that they easily lied about their age, placed their photo out there, and attracting potential meets ups.
I remember how young teenage girls love older men in high school. A 19 boy is so hot to a 16 or 17 old girl.
Stay informed on the latest dating/communication apps, and don’t be afraid to ask to see their phone. In retrospect, they should have the right to view your phone as well. An open-door policy is an open door.
You cannot request your child to comply with something you are not willing to do yourself. Don’t act upset if they hide things because you taught them how to protect it from them.
Their behavior is taught from observing you. Trust, works in both directions and should be candid about sustaining it.
Stay involved, but not nosey.
Inquire about their day,
- What conversations do you have today?
- Anything exciting, funny, or interesting happen at school today?
- What did your friends talk about today or what did you do at lunch with friends?
- Any good Gossip or drama?
For the most part, gossiping is a human trait. Gossiping has been known to elevate one’s moods and elevate stress.
In this case, keep gossip to a minimum, but it’s a great conversational starter with teenagers.
Allowing them to complain about their life without judgment, equates to you complaining to your spouse or friends about your life or job. We all need to decompress through complaining or gossiping.
By hearing their gossip, it gives you an insight into what their friends are doing and whom they are communicating. They will inform you of their dilemmas through gossiping, allowing you to see to advise them on issues rather than scolding them after something happens. Preventing issues or giving them the tools or advice to stay clear of problems parents easier than dealing with repercussions.
It’s a constant redirecting with teenagers, to stay on the path and follow the rules.
For example, do not hover or guard your child but discern future issues that can be corrected now before it gets out of hand.
If you want to protect your child and keep track of their mobile activities, then I highly recommend Spy App Mobile. It has multiple features that you can use or not use depending on how strict you want to be.
Make sure your child or teen is not using apps like Tinder. Makers of apps don’t care who uses their applications or what someone does with it. More and more preditors use social apps to lure teens and children these days.
My ex-wife and I have put notifications on certain content to alert us. This makes also makes my daughter mindful of what is tolerated and may be followed up by an uncomfortable conversation. Singularly, making her second guess certain actions taken on her phone and what she researches on it.
Communication in person, knowing how to act.
My family comes from a long line of salespeople — generations of salesman and saleswoman. As a result, you can say that I come from a long line of bullshitters.
Back when I sold doors, frames, and hardware to large corporations and schools.
I used to joke with my clients that, ” I manufacture, package, and distribute my own bullshit. In this case, if you heard this BS before, it wasn’t from me, this is freshly made BS just for you.”
My straightforward, confidence, and humor always won over the hardest critic.
I have always told people how I see and feel about things. A style of “I call it like I see it” but with a humorous tone.
Some bosses I never clicked well with this attitude, as no one likes being called out. Most don’t want their work to point out that they don’t know their job, and they are pretending to know what they are doing.
In summary, my point is to teach your child, especially your teenager, the importance of proper communication with your directed audience. Know your audience and learn how to talk accordingly to your audience.
My boldness, humor, and honesty were essential to my sales but not in achieving career promotions.
For instance, the way you talk to your friends or children is much different than how you speak with your significant other. Have you ever discussed this with your teenager about different types of relationships? And how communication differs between them?
Discuss with your teenager the importance of having clear communication and how it keeps relationships healthy.
Here are a few examples of guidelines to follow that I have talked with my daughters about communicating with others.
- Use clear and precise directions when requesting a task to be performed
- Establish your comfortable speaking distance with different types of people. (aka. friends, family, strangers,etc.)
- Establish eye contact and keep constant eye contact with a person
- Use your peripheral vision to read the person(s) body language
- Be careful of double edge words, words with negative connotation or meanings
- Tilt your head and show open hands when talking with someone. ( displays transparency and openness) No hand in pockets crossed arms or hands behind their back. (closed uncomfortable body language)
- Always greet your guests, present yourself, and reiterate their name back to them. (ex. Hi, my name is Terry. It is lovely to meet you, Casandra.) It is Simple yet forgotten and lost. Also, introduce everyone in your group.
- Always end your conversation with a salutation, never walk away in silence.
I highly recommend reading Thank You for Arguing by Jay Heinrichs. I first read this book years ago, and I have given out many copies as gifts. It is very humorous and has references to pop culture to teach proper rhetoric.
The importance of knowing how to have proper rhetoric is that you can learn how to have substantial conversations without emotions becoming involved.
If you look around today, many adults and young adults are losing their cool at any disagreement of ideas. We cannot base our conversations on emotions and act so offended. Discussions are meant o help each other grow, share ideas and values. Through these sharings, we can expand our grasps of culture, society, and beliefs.
Teach your child that being offended is a personal experience and should be dealt with in that way. If you are offended, learn why are you hurt and what that person did that made you feel that way. It should not be shared as we each have personal feelings, beliefs, and perspectives. One can learn how to control their emotions and temper in a discussion. Losing your cool or showing to much emotion can make you look like a fool and cause ridicule by others. Teaching your teen or child to keep calm and deal with the situation makes them stronger and the ability to stand their ground. Too many parents emphasize on feelings of their child rather than giving them the tools to cope.
The best way to deal with bullies is to disarm them by not showing weakness. Everyone knows a bully attacks what bothers you or what irritates one. So, discover how not to be phased by disruptions or irritations.
Below is a video to explain and demonstrate phone skills to your children
Teach your teenagers and children to communicate effectively, direct, and clear. Enable them to argue and debate in any situation correctly. Establish what behaviors are tolerated and not tolerated; by you. Enforce discipline when needed, but from how I have taught these tools to my children have honestly made disciplining a rare occasion.