One of the most important ways to make your teenager listen to you is to listen to him/her. Show interest in his feelings and opinions, even when you disagree. This helps to build trust and mutual respect.

Secondly, give clear messages. Express your feelings and needs directly. Giving a clear message may mean saying, "I feel hurt when you’re not honest with me", instead of "You’re a liar". Let your child know how his behavior effects you, instead of judging him intrinsically good or bad. Be sure to catch him doing something right whenever possible and praise him.

A third point, respect each other’s separateness. Do you want your child to be the best he can be, or the best you want? There is a difference, and knowing this difference can aid communication.

Finally, set limits. Let your teen know what your unbreakable rules are. At the same time, let him make an increasing number of minor decisions. Give each other a chance. Your communication can improve, starting today!

Mr.B