How to Influence Your Teens
It is often the first response to have or share an opinion about how others should be. This is even more true if you are an experienced adult trying to help guide your teen. Teenagers can be headstrong, stubborn and determined. People in general and teenagers are highly influenced by those individuals whom they respect and admire. Creating a close bond and being able to talk to teenagers is key to having any influence on them. While helping teens isn’t always easy, with a little communication and modelling, you should be able to gently influence the teens in your life to help themselves.
1. Ask open-ended questions
When trying to gently influence your teen, it’s important to keep communication open so you can better understand where they’re coming from. Asking open-ended questions is the easiest way to have open communications with teens. Open-ended questions are questions that require more than a simple yes, no, or one-word answer. This method allows your teen to share as much detail as they feel comfortable sharing, while requiring a longer response.
2. Listen to your teen
Listening to teens is also another key to open have a communication. Be patient and listen to their thoughts, interests, complaints, ideas, and dreams. Getting to know your teen better will help you determine how to nudge or subtly influence their thoughts and behaviour. Having a better understanding of their experiences, interests, and hopes for the future will help you make better suggestions specific to your teen. Using this information, begin to gently comment on how to move in a direction that interests them.
Make eye contact to show your teen that you’re interested in what they have to say. If you can, put away any distractions (like your phone) and try to limit your multitasking (like talking to them while cooking dinner). Avoid using your own experiences as examples or an “I’m more experienced than you” approach. It is likely that your child will react badly or stop listening.
3. Repeat or reflect back what they say
To make sure you’re hearing your teen correctly and to show them you’re listening, occasionally reflect or repeat what they’re saying back to you. This will help show your teen that you are listening and that you are genuinely trying to understand what they are going through. Also, you must have the opportunity to subtly influence better communication in your teenager.
Have them stop and repeat what they said directly to them. Ask for clarification if they shared part of the event but not all. Offer a gentle interpretation while gently influencing the communication of their feelings.
4. Express empathy
Empathy is our ability to truly understand your teen’s perspective based on their experience from various situations they come across. Begin to show empathy by respecting the adolescent’s intelligence and experience. Be there for your teen and express understanding of what they may be going through or how difficult it may be. Showing empathy will help your teen feel on their side and open up to your advice or suggestions.
At CGR International School, we understand the sensitivities of the teen phase of children. It is a very crucial phase of their life, where they are looking to create their own identity and want to explore new avenues and ideas. They also tend to get easily influenced by people and ideas. At CGR our faculties are trained and experienced in helping teenagers navigate the teen years and to make the most out of it.