wikiHow to Communicate With Younger People

When you are speaking to a young person, keep in mind that at one time that you were that age, too, and that nobody young or old likes to be talked down to. Remember how you wanted older people to treat you, and act accordingly.


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    Don't make a young person feel that he or she is young or stupid. Instead, try to pay attention to what the person is saying and respect what's on his or her mind. Try to answer any questions as best you can, and not in a condescending manner.
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    Try not to poke fun at the way that a younger person may dress, for we all at one time or another went through stylish trends. If you are a parent, this matter definitely, is handled differently, especially since you are likely paying for the outfits that your children are wearing. You should definitely care about how they look and what message they are sending to others.
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    If you are a parent, try hard not to try to relive your life through your child or children. In other words, don't try to force your daughter to become a cheerleader just because you missed out on it...make sure that is what she wants to do. Don't force your son to play football or baseball just because you love sports, or missed out in participating in sports. Listen to what your child or children may be interested in.
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    Don't force your children to study to the point that they haven't any time at all for themselves. They need to have some time to enjoy being young; as long as they are doing their homework that should be good enough.
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    Avoid preaching; you'll be amazed how much more attentive young people will be. Be careful on how that you speak to a young person about drugs, drinking, smoking and so forth...don't preach, but mention it and let it go. You'll be letting them know that you are concerned without being overbearing and pushing them into dangerous, rebellious activities.
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    Speak to your children honestly about sex. If they appear to be listening, but are giggling at the same time, they most likely are not having sex yet. Be sincere, and answer any questions that might arise.
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    Don't always take a teacher's side. If your child is having trouble in a class, listen to your child about how he or she feels about a teacher. Your child may work better on a one to one basis; he or she may need more explaining about a subject, than the teacher is taking the time to give. Go to school and meet the teacher in question.
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    Don't knock a young person that doesn't get all A's. As long as the child does his or her best, a few B's or C's are not a big deal. A younger person may not be good in one subject, but great in another. When you see a lower grade on your child's report card, simply ask, "Are you putting forth your best effort on this subject?" If the answer is yes, tell your child to do the best that he or she can.
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    Don't try to be cool. It forces you to be something you're not and people can see through that.
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    Don't constantly talk about how things were "in your day", complain about how things are now, or go around saying how things should be the way they were when you grew up. The fact is, things aren't the way they were when you were young and complaining won't change that. Don't complain about the types of entertainment that are popular today. That can get old fast.


  • Try to be of help with your child's studies, if you can, meaning if it is a subject that you know. You should be able to tell if they need help...think about other means of help, if you can not be of assistance.
  • If you want to spend some quality time with your son or daughter, niece or nephew, simply ask what they might enjoy doing together. Don't try acting cool, like going to a Rock Concert, unless you do enjoy that kind of thing (and above all, don't use their slang words. Learn them so that you understand what they're talking about, but don't try to sound like a kid). You may want to suggest going to see a movie that may be interesting to both of you; plus there's bowling, or even going to the park, maybe for a nice bike ride...take a picnic lunch. Younger people love going to game rooms, but do you? Try to pick something that both of you will be relaxed doing and enjoy together. Activities the young person's good at are a great choice.
  • Always be nice to the kids in your neighborhood. News travels quickly among our younger people, and in time they will speak of you in a nice manner...and will wave to you while out riding their bikes and so forth. A friendly "Hello or Hi" goes a long way.
  • It is sometimes hard trying to be a parent and friend to your child at the same time. It is very important to first be a parent, but that doesn't mean that you can't listen like a friend.
  • Agree to disagree on some issues that become circular arguments. You don't need to impose your food tastes, musical choices, personal opinions of actresses or politicians on young people. They may have good reasons of their own to disagree and fighting over trivial issues just ruins both of your day. Drop the topic of that lousy movie or book the kid adores once you've had one thorough discussion on it.


  • Never try to impose anything unless its needed.
  • Try to explain things trivially, remember they are young people.

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Categories: Conversation Skills