Communication with teenagers can sometimes be classified as challenging at best for many families.  As a therapist who specializes in working with teenagers and their parents I am often time asked how to improve communication with their teen.  Communicating with your child during this phase of their development requires a different skill set than was used for years 0-12.  A big difference.  This article will give you some “instead of this, try that” examples of different things to be mindful of when communicating with your teen, or anyone, for that matter.  In next week’s article I will discuss how to develop and communicate empathy while setting clear goals and expectations.

Below are a list of things to consider and become self-aware of when talking with your teen and how these are impacting they way they are interacting with them during a conversation.

Communication With Teenagers: Things To Watch For As Parents

Unhealthy Patterns

Healthy Patterns

Insults States the issue
Interrupts Takes turns
Criticizes Notes the good and bad
Gets defensive Calmly disagrees
Lectures Keeps it short and straight
Looks away Makes eye contact
Slouches Sits up straight
Uses sarcasm Talks in a normal tone
Goes silent Says what he/she feels
Denies Acts responsibly
Commands, orders Asks nicely
Yells Uses normal tone of voice
Swears Uses empathic but respectful language
Throws tantrum/ loses temper Cools It, counts to 10, takes a hike
Nags Asks once or twice
Dredges up the past Focuses on the present



Sarah Houy, M.A. RYT

Sarah Houy, M.A. RYT

I educate and empower teens, adults and couples struggling with complex social and emotional challenges.

I specialize in a variety of areas including:

Trauma Counseling
Anxiety Counseling
Depression Counseling
Self-Esteem Counseling
Addiction Counseling
Stress Management
Couples Counseling
Pre-Marital Counseling
Christian CounselingI am also a Registered Yoga Teacher and teach regularly at my Littleton location.

I have two locations:
Littleton @ 8 W. Dry Creek Cir. #120 Littleton, CO 80120

DTC @ 7120 E. Orchard Rd. Ste 370 Centennial, CO 80111

I offer free 50 minute initial consultations and look forward to serving you and your family soon!