10 golden rules to communicate with your child

Adolescence is a time when, traditionally, communication problems between parents and children often arise. The reality is quite different from what one might expect: faced with the advent of the problems of youth, we urgently want to establish communication ties with those who have not done so in recent years.

They, adolescents, often confess that they do not feel related or connected with their parents or elders and consider that, often, they speak a different language, incomprehensible or that it simply does not reach them. They tend to entrench themselves in intransigent and rigid positions that prevent rapprochement and communication.

One of the main axes to be able to understand each other is to understand that communication is, ultimately, an exchange of feelings in which two worlds meet . Some parents reduce what they call “communication” to a simple questioning, which results in monosyllabic responses of the type “yes” or “no”.

Humans differentiate ourselves from other living beings by our great capacity for communication, and by the results to which it has led us. However, there are many occasions when communication is diminished by negative behaviors learned during life , either because we allow ourselves to be carried away by false logic, or because we easily give in to our most primitive impulses.

At this special time in the lives of our children, it is not enough that we want to communicate, it is necessary that they want it too. For this reason, it is essential to consider a series of simple rules based on the daily experience of many families.


Give your child some commitments. They need to know that they are trusted and considered capable. The best way for them to learn lessons is to teach them to others, which is why it is so effective to hold them responsible, for example, for taking care of a little brother in the absence of their parents, or for explaining a subject at school in which they need help. One of the best ways to make them understand the sense of responsibility is to make, for example, that they themselves set an arrival time home.

Once the objective to be achieved has been discussed, in this case the time, its fulfillment must be monitored. Usually, when the adolescent does not comply, he tends to notice a feeling of shame that, by itself, is enough for him to correct what happened himself.

At other times, collaborating in family management can be a good activity to develop responsibility. For example, going to the bank to pay a receipt, or doing some relatively complicated telephone management that brings you closer to the world of adults, so that the whole family knows that you trust him or her.


It is very important to listen to the opinions and be sensitive to the feelings of our children. However, we must not forget that they also learn from the way we feel and express it. It is a good idea to share our own feelings with them and make ourselves heard. It can be comforting to convey our joys to them, but we must not hide tiredness or bad times.

This duality in communication is essential to achieve the adolescent’s trust because it constitutes the true dialogue. Many parents believe they lose their prestige when they try to convey to their children that they are people of flesh and blood: that they get tired and have good or bad moments. The surprising thing is that, most likely, it will be with that person with whom they will want to communicate, not with the ideal father or mother that we have wanted to build.


Whether in discussions, in joys or concerns. Let the adolescent participate in all these issues, a common complaint is usually: “They don’t take me into account” or “they don’t tell me anything.” It is much more common than is believed to hide financial problems or illness from our children of a close relative. The first sensation of the young man is the lack of confidence on the part of the family. This fact usually results in a significant reduction in self-esteem.

The adolescent fantasizes: “if they don’t count on me, I’m not worth enough for it.” Even in seemingly banal events such as choosing a vacation spot, the opinion of all family members should be taken into account. At other times, when hiding information, the adolescent may imagine that something terrible is happening, even exaggerating in his mind the real circumstances, so his concern will increase.

The solution to the problem is, obviously, to increase the flow of communication and information. This, together with the first rule – generating responsibility – will help the adolescent’s maturity process through a higher level of involvement in family situations. Through these expressions of trust we will make them feel that they are worthy of it, and they will consider themselves adults and deserving of other family privileges.


At all ages, but even more so in adolescence, it is important that the children see that their father and mother are on the same line of demand. The formation of a united front for the daily battle must be the axis of the family. There should be no double messages or lack of harmony between the parents. The “bad cop” versus “good cop” philosophy tends to wreak havoc on family trust and disrupt normal channels of communication.

The fact that one of them, for example, accedes to the claims of one of the children behind the back of the other, can create alliances that are extremely harmful to the communication of the whole family. Daily issues such as going to sleep at a friend’s house, getting a new piercing or going on vacation, for the first time, away from parental control, must be considered within the family’s own consensus.

Also, do not forget that what we do with the older children will be observed and taken as a reference by the younger ones.


Approach the conversation only with a view to the future, using what has already happened as a mere reference and never as a reproach. In adolescence, the new social situation of development becomes more difficult and complex for the subject and, on the other hand, there is greater intellectual development.

Through good communication it is necessary that the adults with whom he lives contribute to teaching him the main subject of life: knowing how to face, understand and correctly solve, through reflective and creative thinking, the problems and tasks that life poses to him daily (social, school, love, vocational, professional, etc.)


Without creating an environment of continuous demand, it is not a bad idea to convince our son not to settle for the current state of communication. Do not establish, in any case, mediocrity as a parameter of measurement. We must avoid a series of expressions in relation to our level of communication: “This is good. Although it is not the best, it is the most we can achieve ”. “Why try if there will be no difference?”

They might seem like phrases dictated by common sense but we must influence this communication philosophy in order to change them. It is striking how many people renounce excellence because they believe they do not deserve it or because they believe they cannot obtain it. Many deny themselves the simple opportunity to generate such a situation.

In other cases we tend to repeat the same behavior patterns that we have inherited from our parents. If we convey to our children that we expect the best from them, we will be surprised that they often strive to achieve our goals. In relation to this objective we can add that we should never do the job that corresponds to them, since we would be transmitting a nefarious message: “I do not expect you to change or improve the quality of your work.”


Sitting side by side on a sofa is a good strategy when we must discuss an issue that could generate suspicion or confrontation with the adolescent. Relaxing, lying down and transmitting tranquility will be beneficial and will improve the quality of communication. When we want to plan an activity with our son, we can sit at a table, face to face, to discuss the topic at hand. The arms should remain open and, at most, interlock the fingers.

Crossing your arms can be interpreted as an attitude of rejection, indifference or disbelief. Mentally focus on the other person. Look him straight in the eye. Watch their facial expressions, their body language. Your child will feel that you have an interest in all his gestures. Sit in an attitude of listening. Speak slowly and easily.

We should not be exasperated if we do not get a response quickly or with the content we expected. The way we react to your answer will give you a pattern of behavior when communicating with other people. We are educating you in communication.


Many times, with the anxiety of wanting to communicate something in a hurry, we are not careful when choosing the place and the situation to do it. It is not a good idea to try, for example, in environments full of noise. We must also look for places where we are all comfortable. Turn off the television and choose times when we anticipate not receiving visitors.

Discussing those issues that could be conflictive should be reserved for morning or afternoon hours. At night, due to the reduction of our psychological faculties, it is not a good time for discussions.


Lead by example by setting the highest moral demand levels possible. The situations are usually varied, for example, a lack of respect for another member, which may well be a brother or a friend. A lie or theft should never be overlooked.

The natural tendency of the family is usually to insinuate or force the offender to apologize but, many times, this is not enough and they must be taught to compensate in some detail for the fault they have committed. In this type of behavior we must be inflexible, otherwise it will interpret that we are indifferent to the fault or that we do not care what it does.

Sincerity in posing the problem is essential in communication with our son. Let’s not be afraid to transmit the discomfort to him and his disagreement with family values will serve as a vital point of reference.


It is essential for the development of the adolescent’s personality to establish a hierarchy of values and to propose objectives or goals that guide and give meaning to his life. That allow you to make choices, make decisions, and make long-term plans.

Adults should help adolescents in this endeavor, providing them with assistance, opportunities, experiences, values, examples, and models that enable them to develop their ideals in their various sectors (personal, family, social, vocational, work).

In each of these areas, specific situations present them with options, crossroads, dilemmas, before which they must take a course, a route. The adults who care for them have to help them, not by telling them what decision to make, but by training them to learn to think, judge and act for themselves.


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