Tips to help parents communicate with teens during COVID-19 pandemic

Find a shared vocabulary to voice needs, wants

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SAN ANTONIO – It’s hard for everyone right now, and that includes teenagers who are home from school.

To help parents, couples and teens cope with communicating together during this difficult time, Norma Balli-Borrero, a licensed professional counselor intern at the UT Teen Health Clinic at University Health System, has provided some communication tips listed below.

1. Communication is key

  • Find a shared vocabulary to voice needs and wants.
  • Fight “fair."
  • No yelling.
  • No name-calling.

2. Create moments of space and connection

  • Make a routine everyone can agree on.
  • Come together to spend time when it can be quality time.
  • Explore shared values.
  • Make time for yourself as a parent, couple or teen.

3. Thought management

  • Take time to check in with your thoughts.
  • How are they influencing your behaviors and keeping you from enjoying the moment?

“It’s OK to be having a hard time right now," said Balli-Borrero. "There’s no such thing as a perfect family. There’s no such thing as a perfect parent. Issues are going to come up, tempers are going to flare. It’s going to happen and that’s OK. Working together to find a shared communication style can really help make this time more peaceful. Please reach out for help when you need it.”

If you need to speak with a professional, UT Teen Health promotes adolescent health and wellness by encouraging positive youth development and healthy life choices.

The health group helps teens gain the confidence, knowledge and skills to reach their greatest potential to have a positive future. The group educates students, empower families, and elevate community awareness about teen health.

For more information, visit utteenhealth.org or call 210-358-8255.

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