Teenage years are a difficult time both for the teenager and for their parents. Every week counseling centers are called by countless parents asking them advice on how they can help their teenager or if the Counseling Center can recommend something to help. In some cases, parents are just not sure if it’s something that their child is going through that’s pretty normal, or if it’s something that puts their teenager at risk and in need of immediate help.

There are a number of communication styles for teenagers counselling but the first thing that needs to be determined is if the teenager is showing clear signs that they are in need of help. So the first thing is to determine if this is just behavior that is fairly normal or if your teenager is showing clear signs that they need counseling.

Signs That Your Teenager Could Benefit From Counseling

If your child has begun to experience a number of physical symptoms that have no clear cause, then this could be a sign that they need counseling. Some examples would be if the teenager is suffering from chronic headaches or migraines, or if they are generally not feeling well, if they’re suffering from stomach aches that have no apparent cause, then these can all be an indication that something is happening that they’re not dealing with well and the emotional connection is causing a physical reaction.

Teenagers are going from being children to beginning to grow into adulthood. They’re also going through a lot of natural changes and their hormones are all over the place and their desire to be independent and grown up is increasing. Along with these things they also have an extreme desire to fit in with whatever group they identify with. All of these things can mean that they experience a certain amount of stress and mood swings as well as depression and anxiousness.

All of the things mentioned can be normal teenage behavior. For this reason, parents are unsure if they should just let their teenager go through that and help them as they can, or if this is a real problem that they need immediate help with. Obviously, if a teenager is just going through normal teenage stuff, then a parent is not going to want to put them into counseling but if they’re going through something that is abnormal or excessive then it may be a time to put them in counseling.

In this type of situation, a parent has to use their own judgment. It is a question of the extent of the mood swings and depression and anxiousness that the teenager is experiencing. If it’s a low to medium level then it may just be normal teenage stuff and the teenager should be allowed to work through that and the parent should be supportive but also give their teenagers some space.

On the other hand, if these things seem extreme to the parent then the parent will have to make a decision and if they feel that their teenager is experiencing deep depression or anxiousness that they can’t manage themselves, then that is a clue that their teenager is in need of help and the parent should seek counseling for them.

If your teenager suddenly begins acting out or showing extreme anger then it may be a warning sign of more problems to come. If your teenager suddenly begins bedwetting and they have not had this problem in the past, then this is a serious warning sign that should be taken very seriously. If your teenager has always been a good student and enjoyed school and they begin showing grades that are suffering and they lose interest in school, then there’s something that’s happened and as a parent, you’ll need to try and find out what that is. Either way, you are likely to need to seek out counseling.

Any time that a teenager has suffered a significant emotional loss such as a death in the family or someone that they were very close to, or if their parents or grandparents became divorced, or if they moved after living in one place for a long time, these are the kinds of things that can spark an emotional spiral that the teenager may not be able to circumvent on their own.

What Kinds Of Benefits Can Counseling Give Teens?

Many teenagers appear to be getting more mature and stronger and yet this is a time when they are most vulnerable. Teenagers have an insatiable need to fit in with their peers and the groups that they identify with and if for some reason they don’t, it can be a really big problem for them. Often teenagers don’t feel that they are understood by their parents and because it’s a time in their life when they think they know more than they actually do, they often discount their parent’s advice.

This all lends itself to their vulnerability. The way in which counseling can help teens is to give them a set of tools that they can use when faced with a variety of circumstances. When they’re feeling deeply depressed or they have feelings of anxiousness or worry, counseling can give them specific actions that they can take to help alleviate and manage those feelings. Often knowing how to manage the feelings is enough to keep them at a level that is reasonable for them and for their parents.

When teenagers begin to learn to use these types of tools they are able to regain a sense of themselves and a sense of empowerment and they began to be more positive thinking and happier in everyday circumstances. Counseling can teach your teenager different ways of thinking about things and approaching problems and circumstances. Counseling can help parents and teenagers bridge the gap that often stands as a wall between them.

Counseling helps both the teenager and their parents understand how to address the stress and other emotional issues that the teenager is going through. Often in counseling, the teenager is able for the very first time, to put a name to the emotional stress and figures out what it is. Knowing what is the root cause of the stress is the first step to managing it.

One of the biggest things that counseling can do is to help both the teenager and their parents to communicate effectively with one another. Very often when teenagers first come in for canceling the communication between them and their parents has completely broken down. The teenager has no faith in their parents to understand what they’re going through and they have no faith in the advice that their parents give them. The parents themselves have come to a point that they feel they’re at their wit’s end and they believe they’ve done everything possible and yet they’re unable to reach their child emotionally.

Communication Styles For Teenagers Counselling

Assertive

When working with teenagers it’s important that they feel that they are able to assert their own feelings and ideas about a circumstance or situation. Working with a teenager and helping them to be more assertive in a positive way will help them work through the issues that they’re going through. This type of communication style allows your teenager to express their own beliefs and their own needs and they need to be able to do that without worrying that they will be reprimanded for it.

Fair Fighting

Teenagers are being told by their parents, by their teachers, by their coaches, and by any and everyone else what they should do, how they should think, how they should act, and they get to the point where they’re just angry. Once this happens, then anytime their parent tries to tell them something their wall goes up and they just get angry. And once this happens they often say terrible things and the communication between the teenager and their parents becomes toxic.

In counseling, it is important that the teenager and their parents practice using a set of fair fighting rules. Following these rules gives the teenager a chance to be able to express themselves without fear of being reprimanded or told that they’re acting out and it also gives away for the parents to understand how to engage with their teenager during these times. This is one of the important communication styles for teenagers counselling.

Passive-Aggressive

Passive communication is often expressed by a lowering the voice and the one exhibiting this behavior will often express ideas and feelings that give priority to other people’s wants and needs rather than their own. Aggressive communication is typically expressed by focusing on the speaker’s needs & wants and with little or no regard to the others around them. Learning to balance these types of communication skills is key to a good relationship between both parents and their teenagers.

Conflict Resolution

Among the communication styles for teenagers counselling is conflict resolution. This type of communication skill can be a tremendous help and significantly bridge the gap between teenagers and their parents. This type of communication style will not only help the teenager with their parents but also their relationships with their friends and classmates and others. One of the first things that the teenager learns in this type of communication skill is to focus on the problem and not the person.

So often when a teenager is experiencing some extreme emotional distress, the moment their parent or a friend starts to speak the teenager will just focus on the person instead of realizing that it’s the problem that’s causing the feeling. Once they learn to focus on the problem when communicating and not the person, this gives the teenager away to begin working through the issue.

For parents, it’s important that they utilize reflective listening skills during these types of conversations. So often as parents, we are focused on responding to what our teenager has said and trying to give them some type of solution. Often, a teenager wants to be heard and wants to feel that they’ve been understood and listened to and that is what reflective listening is all about.

Know When To Take A Time Out

When learning new communication styles for teenagers it’s very important to know when to simply take a timeout. When the parents and the teenager reach an impassable wall, then there’s no sense in trying to knock the wall down just then. Take a little time before talking again to allow each person a chance to think things over and mostly, just to calm down.