Parents often present their homework help in a way that won’t be accepted. We feel we are just trying to help. Why is our help being rejected? Often it’s because we have created a communication block. Below are examples of statements that stop the teen from listening because they feel hurt. See which ones you have a tendency to do.
Communication Blocks Examples for Teens
A communication block is any remark or attitude on the part of the listener that injures the speaker’s self-esteem enough to break communication. The underlying message may be: “You don’t have good sense, you have messed up, you don’t have a right to your own feelings, I know it all and you know nothing or perhaps, you are ridiculous!”
Not each of these responses will stop your teen from talking or cause them to feel misunderstood and then get mad at you. If they do, then you have made a statement that feels hurtful and shuts your teen down. A statement is not a block by itself. It depends on how it is given and what the response is in return.
Here are some examples.
#1 Giving advice
Teen: “I hate math homework. My teacher gives way too much.”
Adult: “You should do some when you first get home.”
Teen: “I can never make this drawing good enough.”
Adult: “You might not be good at drawing but you are really good at math.”
Teen: “I can’t stand doing homework. It’s such a waste of time.”
Adult: “I think you don’t like homework right now because you don’t understand how it will help you in your future profession.”
Teen: “Why do we have to analyze this stupid poem?”
Adult: “You have to study literature because it’s required.”
Teen: “Homework is just a waste of time. I’m not going to do it.”
Adult: “Homework is not a waste of time. it will prepare you for doing well in college.”
Teen: “The teacher doesn’t explain what we are supposed to do. How am I supposed to figure it out on my own?”
Adult: “Behind every challenge is a new opportunity to grow.”
Teen: “I don’t like school anymore and I don’t want to go.”
Adult: “What happened at school? Did you get in trouble?”
Teen: “I just can’t do any more. ”
Adult: “Honey, it will be okay. You’re such a good student.”
If your teenager doesn’t want to listen or talk with you, try changing your approach. Watch out for these common communication blocks. Ask yourself, “Am I blocking my teenager?” Instead learn to listen. Look for other articles in the Emotional Intelligence section on how to listen to emotions first. This is what teens need before they will want your advice.
©2013 Cynthia Klein has been a Certified Parent Educator since 1994. She works with dads, moms and organizations who want more cooperation, mutual respect and understanding between adults and children of all ages. Cynthia presents her expertise through speaking, webinars, and private parent coaching sessions. She is a member of the National Speakers Association and writes the Middle School Mom column for the magazine Parenting on the Peninsula. Contact Cynthia at bridges 2 understanding, bridges2understa.wpstagecoach.com or call 650. 341.0779.