Effective communication is one of the keys to having a successful life for anyone. This principle is no less true for family, especially tweens. I will attempt to offer struggling and practicing parents and teachers some practical ways to increase and even improve communication with a preteen who is about eight and twelve. Who knows, you may get past those one word answers before you know it. Read on to learn how to communicate with your tween.

Things You Will Need


Step 1

Attempt good eye contact when talking with your tween. Make sure that all barriers are removed and they can see you. Do not demand eye contact, as this will break down communication. Not all tweens are confident enough to look others in the eye when they talk to them. However, if you are trying to get him to tell you the truth, refusal to make eye contact can point to a lie.

Step 2

Keep your voice and actions calm if at all possible. If you are angry, leave the situation and come back to it later. If the same issues keep coming up repeatedly, consider professional assistance. Do not be afraid to apologize, kids already know you are not perfect.

Step 3

State what you will do instead of giving out orders. Start sentences with "I." Give them a few choices whenever possible. Try to say things once, only repeat if you feel they did not hear you.

Step 4

Respect that you will have differences in style, music and friends. Try to discuss calmly and reach a common ground.

Step 5

Talk on the "fly." All that means is when you are in the car or at an activity or before bed, seize the moment to talk to your captive audience. They might even be less resistant. Especially if they are trying to stall. So, be sure to allow enough time for their unexpected delays. Also, you may want to make it part of your routine not to turn on the TV or video games until after you have sat down to dinner and at least attempted to have some sort of conversation.

Step 6

Participate in his homework as much as he will allow. If he has reading, consider reading together.

Being a parent or teacher of a tween is not always easy, but it can be done and you can have fun!

Tips & Warnings

If your tween asks for material goods repeatedly, inform him that they can earn it or put it on a wish list. Do not let them discuss it again until they have come up with a good plan.