Opening the Door to Healthy Communication


Morgan Moomey, Jr. Editor

Most teenagers believe that their friends are their support system. Less often, teens include their parents in their close network of relationships. Even though most parents would go to the end of the Earth for their child, teenagers tend to not tell their parents the whole truth, even if there isn’t something to hide. This may be because they want to prove that they are independent, or they want to be their own person, but building a healthy relationship between a teenager and their parents is critical in the development of the child. 

Arguments are a normal part of a healthy parent-teen relationship, but the reason for these arguments can stem from a multitude of different reasons. One of these reasons could be control. As teenagers grow and start to become their own person, there can be a “control shift” that often causes arguments. Whether that is simply wanting a later curfew, or even having different political views, parents start to feel “out of control” because their child is being influenced by other people or things. Even though parents are the biggest influence in a child’s life, as the child grows, other people and things will start to influence them.

Once the deep-rooted reasons for the arguments are understood, healthy conversations can begin. It is important to have real conversations about possible new boundaries, or other topics, to prevent an argument from happening. Communication is beyond important in any relationship, but especially a parent-teen relationship.

In an interview with AHS counselor Jenny Willard, she said, “I believe that open and effective communication is important between parents and children. Having open and effective lines of communication allows for parents and children to understand and trust one another. With this, comes an effective way to support the child’s wellbeing and development and overall partnership.” If you are wanting to start communicating more openly with your parents, Willard stated, “My advice for students who would like to be more open with their parents is to be honest. Having honest conversations with our parents allows for parents to build that trusting foundation of understanding. Sometimes as parents we don’t know what we don’t know. I would say it just starts by asking to sit down and have a conversation. Sometimes that is the hardest thing to do, but it does help build that line of communication and understanding.”

It all comes down to simply talking. Opening the door of healthy communication is the beginning of any healthy relationship. Expressing how you feel in a calm environment will help both parties come to an understanding or a solution to the problem. If both parties feel safe to talk about their real feelings about a situation,a compromise can be made.

So if you feel like things are rocky, sit down and have a conversation. In the long run, your parents want the best for you, even if it doesn’t always feel like it.