Effective Communication


Step 1: Pause (and listen)

Step 2: Express

Refresher #1

Step 3: Reflective listening

Refresher #2

Step 4: Agree

Step 5: Negotiate

Refresher #3

Tip: Accentuate the positive

Tip: Address inappropriate language

Refresher #4


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Step 2: Express

Talk to your teen in a respectful manner. Here are some tips to express how you feel:

  • Start with positive statements.

  • Avoid You-messages, which accuse, blame, and criticize. They destroy communication, reinforce goals of misbehaviour, and can trigger your teen to become defensive and avoid responsibility.

  • Don’t use the words “never” and “always” as your teen will only focus on exceptions. For example, you may say, “You never clean your room,” and your teen may reply with, “Oh yes I did, last year!”

  • Use I-messages to express your feelings and concerns. These messages encourage teens to return respect. For example, you can say, “When the living room is messy, I feel taken advantaged of because I either have to live with a messy room or clean up myself."

  • Do use I-messages to express positive feelings.

  • Consider sharing a relevant experience from your own teen years.
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