How to Use The Proper Tone When you Talk to your Teen Child

When talking to young people, the tone you use can not only sabotage any chance for an immediate, constructive exchange, but set the scene for further disagreements within the family. Most of us use sarcasm and teasing at some time to get a point across. Between peers, it can be a harmless way of showing mild disapproval, or of getting a message through without being too blunt. Yet, even between people of the same age group, if can be a devastating weapon, used by one person in a stronger position to crush another weaker than they. When employed by an adult to a young person, it is almost always more painful than the adult realizes and often intends. Younger members of the family who see its use may feel that you are encouraging them to be equally cruel, and gleefully take your cue to rag their older brothers and sisters unmercifully.

Talk teen Child

Young siblings are particularly adept at seeking out any sensitive area and attacking it. They often delight in their elders’ discomfiture as they make sly or raucous comments, carry tales or let slip secrets. An angry retort from the teenager is seen as out of proportion or even as bullying, since the older child is always considered to be the stronger and to have an unfair advantage. In fact, it is the younger ones who have by far the best weapons and the real advantage. When the teen turns on you, he or she may well be accused of having a poor sense of humor -‘What’s the matter? Can’t you take a joke?’ or of being insolent -‘Don’t you speak to me/your mother like that!’ Exactly the same behavior is defined in a different way when it is done by an adult from when it is done by a young person; I’m teasing, you’re cheeky. As far as sarcasm is concerned, downwards is bullying and upwards is disrespectful, and virtually whatever the teenager does he or she is in the wrong.

Underlying most arguments between teens and parents are entirely reasonable demands, concerns and requests. After all, there is nothing wrong in your wanting to know when your son or daughter plans to come home, nor in their asking for extra cash for a special event or purchase. Yet, how many times have these subjects triggered off a screaming match in your home? It is not the subject itself that touches off the disagreement, but, apart from the tone in which both of you ask and respond; it is the implications of the exchange that set you both off.

Filed Under: Family & Relationships


About the Author: Roberta Southworth is a psychiatrist by profession. She likes to help out people by writing informative tips on how people can to solve their family and relationship issues. She is currently staying in Ireland. She has 5 years of couple counseling experience.

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