Effective Communication between the Parents and the Young Adults

Effective Communication between the Parents and the Young Adults

Abstract

Communication is a vital tool that determines and directs any kind of relationship be it family or friendship kind of relationship. Effective communication is a crucial aspect that acts as a determinant for any thriving interpersonal relationships. It serves as a requisite for the maintenance of a robust family bond between family members. However, as days go by, the aspect of communication in a family unit continues to worsen further. Amid the skyrocketing cases of divorce among couples, children are the ones who get to feel the devastating effects of their parent’s separation. A vast number of this divorce cases have been accounted to ineffective and poor communication between the couples that has attributed to loss of trust within marriage. Due to the alarming trend of divorces, most of the children remain hapless as they grow with sorrow that is untold. It is with this profound reason that most of the children coming from a divorced family grow in solitude as they also lose way in communicating with their parents effectively. Besides this, a complete family may also face the same problem of poor communication especially during the period when the children are growing into adolescence. The effects of ineffective communication between the child and the parent has in so many cases led to unimaginable consequences such as children committing heinous crimes or making tremendous mistakes that have immense effects on the children’s lives. This paper thus seeks to provide several effective solutions on improving the state of communication between a parent and his or her growing child. In addition, this paper aims to provide an ample environment where children thoughts, opinions and feelings can be recognized and valued not only by the family but by the entire society as well.

Effective Communication between the Parents and the Young Adults

Introduction

Family remains to be the basic unit of any society. It is thus a vital aspect that cannot and will never be erased in any existing society. As most cases reveal, it is not always a piece of cake to maintain a harmonious relationship with our own family members. This is usually attributed to inconsistent and ineffective communication between and among family members that make it eminently daunting to have a completely unified family. The failure of a relationship between a teenager and his or her parent has been associated with the current state of family instability, social stress and worse, suicide. Therefore, in order to curb the growing number of family disunitycases, it is important to reestablish an excellent and effective ways of communication. This is because of the fact that communication serves as a foundation for any family to thrive. This is a vital necessity in building trust and enhancing family ties among the family members. Children are likely to achieve a positive outcome if they have a good relationship based on effective communication with their parents. Growth is inevitable and as children grow, it is important to foster communication of needs and negotiation of differences (Nicotera, 1993).     Conflicts among family members are bound to happen and this can only be solved through effective means of communication between and among the parents and their growing children. People are born into relationships and live their lives in webs of friendship, works relations, romances, marriages and family networks (Guerrero et al., 2011). This clearly indicates how interpersonal relationship such as that of a parent and a child remain to be central to the existing society. The different barriers of communication have more so contributed to the worsening state of disunity between parents and their children. The goal of this paper is to seek the potential solutions for effective communication as well as to provide a range of communication strategies that will work in handy in building a robust relationship between a parent and his or her growing child.

Understanding the adolescent children (young adults)

Ever since the long gone hey days, parents have been entitled the role of bringing up their children in a manner that could be approved by the society. On the other hand, children had been expected to up hold certain virtues which have always been considered to be essentially vital for their existence in a world that is full of diversity and change. Respect and love were some of the virtues that were deemed to be important in shaping the lives of the growing children. These virtues could and can only be instilled to the children through proper and effective communication between the parents and their children. However, as children reach the adolescent stage, a vast number of parents have found it daunting to even hold a simple conversation with their kids. This may be due to a myriad of reasons which act as barriers for the parents to effectively communicate with their children. In order to find a concrete solution for this issue, parents need to fully comprehend the issues that affect their children as they grow. Some of these issues include both emotional and cognitive developments which act as part and parcel of a child’s growth to adulthood.

One of the key aspects that the parents should know about their teenagers is the fact that they are growing and with growth comes knowledge and emotional changes. Adolescent children are usually caught impossibly between adult mythologies of ‘childhood innocence’ and ‘adult sophistication’ (Williams, 2005). However, young people’s innocence is usually dismissed by the existing society as being naïveté where as their sophistication construed by the society as being cunning (Williams, 2005). The young adults are usually faced with a wide array of issues and challenges as they seek to find and establish their identity to the society. Besides this, the young adults strive to assert their own independence so as to be viewed by the society as being self-sufficient. Relationships become a prime factor that is of central importance to the adolescent and teenagers. Metacognition becomes part and parcel of an adolescent as they experience an increased propensity to monitor their thoughts. They begin to take control of their lives by independently making their own decisions on various issues that are affecting them.

As the adolescents face both biological and emotional changes, their thoughts begin to manifest on relationships, social norms, justice, guidelines for social interaction and human behavior. Adolescent growth also brings forth a shift between them and their family as they gain self-control, self-reliance with the ability to make their own decisions and choices without the assistance from their parents. To the frustrations of many parents, conformity to parental opinions gradually declines as the young adults tend to focus more on their peers opinions and choices (Wolfe & Mash, 2008). Thus, a vast number of the young adolescent children tend to become more aligned to their fellow peers as compared to seeking opinions from their parents. This tremendous shift is what results to a continuous deterioration of the communication behavior between the teens and their parents. However, most of the teenagers feel that the only way of being self-independent and self-sufficient is by being less emotionally dependent on their parents (Wolfe & Mash, 2008).

It is with this profound reason that the parents begin to lose track of their children’s practices and activities as the peers become more influential as compared to the parents. As the adolescents continue to face all of the physical, cognitive and emotional changes, it is extremely vital for the parents to be present in providing advice that will guide their children in each step of the way. This can only be done through the parent’s efforts of reconstructing the communication channel between that exists between them and their children.

It is without a doubt that the relationship between an adolescent and a parent is usually at a constraint due to the child’s biological and cognitive maturation. In order to significantly attenuate the emotional challenges faced by an adolescent child, it is important for the parents to develop a good communication channel. This is because, a vast number of juvenile cases result from influence by other peers and lack of communication between the parent and the growing child could also attribute to such. Identifying some of the adolescents’ problems and attempting to find a solution for them can be a daunting and educational task. This happens more so due to the fact that majority of the young adults feel the need to be independent in making their own decisions. In order for the parents to develop an effective communication channel, it is important for the parents to understand the adolescents’ need of self-independence.

Therefore, parents have to be always open to dialogue, without imposing their ideas on their adolescent sons and daughters (Williams, 2005). The parents must be willing to provide their suggestions and ought not to force their adolescent children into doing something that they do not want. Besides this, an adolescent is likely to communicate with his or her parent in the same way that their parents communicate with each other. However, this is entirely not the case for the young adults who would mostly shift away from their parents to their peers. Therefore, in order for parents to regain a close association with their adolescent children, it is vital for them to keep the lines of communication always open.

Availability of both parties

As children grow into adulthood, the presence and availability of the parents becomes a key necessity. Amid the current economic changes and pressures, it is hard for parents to create time specifically to interact with their children. Many parents would say that they would be out most of the time with the intent of making money that would be used to sustain and improve the livelihood of their children. However, amid the moral decay society, children and specifically the young adults need guidance and direction from their parents. It is with this reason that the parents need to be available so as to ensure that their adolescent children grow in light and with the right virtues. For communication to be effective there needs to be more than one party. Thus, the availability and willingness of the parents to hold conversations with their adolescent children is the first step of an effective and proper family communications. This will help the young adults in acknowledging their parents as important people who had an influence during their growth. Besides this, majority of the young adults would find it easy to communicate with their parents as they would feel a sense of being wanted and prioritized by their parents. In addition, the young adults should also be willing to have a conversation with their parents by taking time away from their busy schedules.

Listening more as compared to speaking too much

In order to have a fruitful discussion, both the parents and the young adults should learn to listen more as opposed to speaking too much. This is essentially ideal as it helps in creating a conducive environment that will enable both parties to communicate freely and at ease. This will be of great assistance in enabling the young adults to freely convey what they feel about certain issues. This will provide a leeway for the parents to provide sound advice and guidelines to their adolescent children. This is because of the fact that the young adults tend to speak more on their challenges and emotional problems when they feel that their parents are listening as opposed to criticizing them. When a parent criticizes too much as compared to listening, the young adults would opt to keep their issues and challenges to themselves. This leads to the young adults becoming more withdrawn and unable to freely raise their concerns and issues to their parents. Instead, most of the teenagers would feel more at ease when they communicate their issues and problems to their fellow peers who would listen and offer them support and advices.

However, the advices that these young adults derive from their peers may not be the best as some may lead to the young adults committing heinous mistakes that have tremendous consequences. It is therefore important for parents to give their children listening ears so that they could be able to understand their children whilst offering them good solutions for their problems. If parents listen more to their children, then most of the teenagers would seek no other avenues to express their freedom and speak out their emotional challenges. This would lead to an effective dialogue where the parent would show a heightened degree of understanding which would thus promote a free flow of information from both parties. The young adults would also get a feeling of belonging as their ideas and views are taken into consideration.

Maintaining confidentiality

It is with no doubts whatsoever that trust is a key aspect that governs proper communication between a parent and an adolescent child. As the young adults seek self-reliance and independence, many become more secretive and private. The parents become sidelined as their growing children purpose to find their own identity. It is with this profound reason that trust becomes of essence in ensuring that a good communication channel is retained between the young adult and his or her child. Thus, it is important for the parents to learn how to keep the conversation that they have with their adolescent children in a confidential manner. This is because, during the adolescent process, many young adults face challenges such as emotional turmoil and biological changes. With all the emotional changes, most of the teenagers are in the quest of seeking someone whom they believe is trustworthy and is able to keep a conversation private.

Relationships become central to the adolescents lives and as they begin to realize that they are attracted to someone, they would always want a person whom they would share their adventures and emotional changes with. It is with this profound reason parents ought to provide guidelines and offer their growing adolescent children sound adviceon how to go along with their emotional changes. It is also compulsory for the parents to maintain confidentiality so as to ensure that the self-esteem of their children is intact. This is due to the fact that many adolescent would most likely feel betrayed when a shared conversation becomes the topic of the house or town. Besides this, most of the young adults are usually vulnerable to losing their self-esteem especially when the issues they once upheld in secrecy are brought to the limelight.

Negative communication

Negative communication is usually a result of poor communication between the parent and his or her adolescent child. This is usually brought about as a result of different barriers of communication that serve to hinder an effective communication channel between the parent and the young adult. Some of these barriers of communication include the lack of dialogue, poor listening skills on either party, lack of confidentiality and unavailability or unwillingness of either party to set aside some time from their busy schedule and hold a conversation with no interruptions. Negative communication is thus a consequence of the different existing barriers of communication. Negative communication between the parents and their adolescent children could thus be characterized by the adolescents’ hesitance to share information with their parents and the adolescents’ selectivity on what to share or what not to share with their parents(Nicotera, 1993). In addition, negative communication can be seen through the negative styles of interaction that usually results to family conflicts or worse when the young adults commit tremendous mistakes that inflict them, their family and the entire society.

Positive communication

Positive communication between the parents and their adolescent children usually result to a robust interpersonal relationship. Besides this, positive communication will help in keeping the young adults at guard as they gain more awareness in the common world issues. In addition, most of the adolescents would grow in an upright manner as they gain their virtues through proper communication between them and their parents.  Therefore, positive communication promote factors that will ensure that the growing adolescents feel free to share any information with their parents thereby feeling no constrain in seeking help and advice from their parents. Positive communication also ensures that both the parent and the young adult gain a good degree of understanding each other as they also gain satisfaction and relief from communicating with each other.

Positive communication thus remains to be a vital aspect in ensuring that both the parent and the young adult smoothly navigate through the various transition stages.

In conclusion, it is important for parents to acknowledge that adolescence is a transition stage that could be smooth if there is proper communication between them and their adolescent kids. Good communication would more so help in curbing any family conflict while ensuring that the young adults grow in full acknowledgement of distinguishing a vice from a virtue.

References

Guerrero, L. K., Andersen, P. A. & Afifi, W. A. (2011). Close encounters: Communication in relationships. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

Nicotera, A. M. (1993). Interpersonal communication in friend and mate relationships. Albany: State Univ. of New York Press.

Wolfe, D. A. & Mash, E. J. (2008). Behavioral and Emotional Disorders in Adolescents: Nature, Assessment, and Treatment. New York: Guilford Press.

Williams, A. (2005). Talking adolescence: Perspectives on communication in the teenage years. New York: Lang.