The National Parenting Center

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Communication Barriers

Communication barriers are habits that get in the way of good parenting communication. These include:

1. Labeling and belittling. Saying things like, “What do you know? You’re just a kid!” or “You’re a disappointment to me.” This paves the way for total lack of communication.

2. Ordering, prescribing and lecturing. Saying things like, “Do it because I said so” or “Stop feeling sorry for yourself.” The teen stops listening, no one gets heard, everyone is angry and nothing gets solved.

3. Filibustering. You take the conversation ball and run with it, silencing everyone else.

4. Taking over the problem. You make your teen’s problem yours, habitually overreact and make your teen afraid to tell you anything.

5. Mixed messages. This can be encouragement with negative undertones. Saying “You have so much potential”, may sound like “You’re nothing special right now.”

Try breaking these bad emotional habits. Being there for your child and listening with empathy and love will break down these barriers.

An expert in the field of adolescent behavior, Ms. McCoy has authored eleven books on the subject including the best selling “The Teenage Body Book”. Additionally she has written hundreds of articles for major national magazines. Coordinator of the Clinical Ph.D. Program at California School of Professional Psychology and Staff Counselor at the Center for Individual and Family Counseling in North Hollywood, California.

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