Teenagers often find it difficult to talk about how they are feeling and this can cause anxiety for the whole family. Watch the video to learn about encouraging your teenager to communicate and develop your listening skills and vocabulary as you complete the activities. 


Task 1 - comprehension

Task 2 - vocabulary

Task 3 - word stress

All the verbs in this task come from the video called ‘Encouraging your teenager to communicate’.

Practise saying the words. How many syllables does each one have and where is the main stress?

For example, in the word ‘teenager’, there are three syllables and the main stress is on the first syllable.

This can be shown like this:



Task 4 - summary


Teenagers are often described as the grunt generation and we all know what that means. Parents ask a question and all you get back is a grunt.

Why are teenagers like this?

If you try to remember what is was like for yourself as a teenager, it's very difficult. You know, your hormones are racing around, you've got peer pressure, you know, there's a lot of things going on when you are a teenager.

Inside the young person at this stage, there's both a child and an adult. You get at one time a childish person who's very dependent and wants help, on the other, you get an adult trying to be very mature. And that puzzle is something that parents really struggle with. But if they remember that it's part of growing up, it'll be much easier to deal with.

It's really, really important for parents to try to model the sort of behaviour that they want to see from their young person. If they know that they often react in a way with shouting and screaming that it's hardly surprising then that their child or teenager shouts or screams back at them.

Make time for your teenager.

I think a lot of us parents often are trying to do different things, we're juggling things - we're trying to peel the spuds, wash up, do the homework, all sorts of things, when our children are trying to talk to us. And a lot of the time, by stopping what you're doing as a parent, sitting down and letting them talk to you, they actually dispel a lot of their anxieties and you actually then find that behaviour improves because they feel valued.

Think about how you can improve the way you talk to your teenager.

She doesn't have to keep, you know, like anything away from me and she's pretty good at that, and I hope she knows she can come and talk to me.

Find something that is sort of non-threatening that maybe can stimulate a conversation around the issue that you want, and think about the way you respond and think about the way you listen. Don't interrupt them, let them have their say. Don't instantly go into a sort of reaction that will shut your child down.

It's always about trying to build bridges with teenagers, not build walls.

You can always tell tensions are brewing because teenagers tend to be stroppy when they're not happy, so it's very easy: shoulders down, face upside down.

And don’t forget to admit when you’re wrong as this earns respect from your teenager.

The more you can show respect for the young person, even if they're not talking, the more likely they are to want to talk to you the next time.

Spend time with your teen. Think about the way you listen. Build bridges with your teen.



  • Do you find it difficult to communicate with teenagers?

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