Communication between Teenagers and Parents
Communication between people is a complex process. Often we have expectations, worries or attitudes that make us misunderstand things. When a teenager says: "I'll be careful", it does not really mean anything if he or she has taken great risks over and over again. When a dad promises to take his kids to the amusement park, but he just has to get some things done first, the kids might actually be "hearing" - "Sorry, you're not that important to me."
- Why is trust so important in a relationship?
- How does the mom react to her daughter's two Cs (grades in her report card. A is best.)?
- What is the dad worried about?
- Does the dad feel that he is being taken seriously? Why/why not?
- Language is also a problem between first and second generation immigrants. How come?
- What is the difference between being heard and being understood?
- How does our modern society contribute to miscommunication?
- What are some of the bad long term effects miscommunication may have?
- At the very end, the narrator suggests a change of attitude both in teenagers and parents. What does she suggest?
Make a list
Make a list of 5 things to remember in order to avoid miscommunication.
- Remember to make eye contact with the person you are talking to.
- Would his interview have been different if boys were telling their stories? Would the father worry about other things? Would the teenagers themselves have the same frustrations?
- Could this interview just as well have been made in Norway? Explain why.
- Discuss the examples of misunderstandings in the introduction to this text. Are these typical? Come up with a few examples of your own.
Make an interview
To the one being interviewed: Don’t let it get too personal. Make up some answers if you are not comfortable with the situation.
- Growing up was easier in the old days, when there was no long period of adolescence.
- The problem of parents is that they worry too much.
- In our society, we have too little respect for our parents - after all they know better from having been young themselves.
- These days parents and teenagers don’t have time to really sit down and talk. That’s why we get all these misunderstandings. We become strangers.
- Dear mum and dad – I’m more responsible than you think.
- Please worry - it's a crazy world out there!