— Skylight Trust

Parenting is one of the most rewarding, challenging, joyous and frustrating experiences that we can have. ​

Whatever age or stage your child is at, communication is key, and good communication is paramount. This is especially true with teenagers and young adults.

Many people say there is a lot more conflict between parents and their children once they reach the teenage years and into young adulthood. Conflict is a normal part of any relationship, but conflict can increase during times of change. As children grow into young adults, there is a lot of change both physically and emotionally/mentally. It can be hard to find a new way of communicating with the young adult that was once your child.

Tips on how to communicate with your teenager/young adult:

  • praise and encourage your teen - read more about the importance of Encouragement
  • tell them you love them
  • be honest with them
  • don't yell at them
  • let them form their own opinions
  • help them solve their problems, but don't do it for them
  • keep talking to them
  • let them know that they are enough
  • timing - pick your moment to tackle an issue with them
  • be mindful of your body language
  • be willing to understand the situation before acting
  • learn the art of self control
  • encourage appropriate expressions of anger
  • be willing to be disliked sometimes - you can't always be their best friend.

Listening and talking is the key to a healthy connection between you and your children. But parenting is hard work and maintaining a good connection with teens can be challenging, especially since parents are dealing with many other pressures. It is really important to look after yourself as well, you can't possibly expect to be a great parent if you are running on empty all the time.

Being a teenager today is hard - the introduction of social media and the expectations that we place on ourselves makes growing up harder than ever. If you are having problems over an extended period of time, you might want to consider consulting with a professional to find out how they can help. Counselling for your teen and yourself may help to open communications channels again.

Read more about Parenting

Resources Available at Skylight

Skylight is here to help you through difficult times. We can assist you in a variety of ways with information appropriate for your situation. You are welcome to visit us and receive free information and a support pack from our resource centre and borrow books from the specialist library. We also facilitate Professional Development training and offer Counselling support services for children, young people, family/whānau and individuals who are experiencing tough times.

Request a Pack Library

Online Shop

Our online shop features Skylight's own publications and other specialist titles from New Zealand and around the world. Search titles, keywords or category headings by clicking the shop button.