Communication is a vital tool that determines and directs any kind of relationship be it family or friendship. Effective communication more so 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 juvenile cases, the parents are the ones who get to feel the devastating effects of their children’s’ actions. A vast number of these cases have been attributed by ineffective and poor communication between the young adults and their parents. Besides this, a complete family may also face the same problem of poor communication especially during the adolescence stage when the child transitions to a young adult. This paper thus seeks to provide several effective solutions on improving the state of communication between an adolescent and his or her parent. 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.
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 cases. 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 it serves as 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 an effective communication with their parents. Growth is inevitable and as children grow, it is important to foster communication of need and negotiation of differences. Conflicts among family members are bound to happen and this can only be solved through effective means of communication between the young adults and their parents. 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 adolescent children. The main objective 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 young adult and his or her parent. It is with this profound reason that we provide a course to the young adults, on how they can better communicate with their parents.
Parent-adolescent communication is a course provided to the young adults most of whom are at their adolescence stages. This course teaches the young adults on how to better communicate to their parents so as to promote understanding while strengthening the bond between them and their parents. The fee for this One month course study is $470 as the students will be required to board in school. They will also be provided with necessities apart from the personal ones which each parent is required to purchase for their child. In addition, this course study can be assessed by registering online at the University of Palmere website. Online registration is fully open to new students during the first week in January and September. Below is a table that outlines and describes the course study.
|Course duration||76 hours in 1 month|
|Number of teachers||10|
|Each lesson topic||Theory on interactive model||Interpersonal communication||Practical with parents during their visit|
|Each lesson learning hours||2 hours||2 hours||2 hours|
|Total learning hours||30 hours||30 hours||16 hours|
|Visits per week (by parents only)||2 visits|
According to the course study schedule, parents are allowed to visit their children twice per week. This will be convenient in creating an atmosphere where the young adults would be able to apply their taught communication skills in practice. Besides this, the adolescent children would feel a sense of being wanted by their parents and such would help in creating lasting bond between them and their parents.
A total of ten teachers are also available to provide the young adults with both theory and life skill lessons about effective communication. Since most of the adolescents seek attention as they travel through the journey of transitioning to adults, a group of three students are each allocated one teacher who would act as a mentor and a guardian through the entire course study.
Philosophy, Concept and Theory
Parent adult child model
This model describes the relationship between a parent and his or her adult child. This model also clearly depicts the respective roles that the parent and the young adults ought to play. This model thus helps in ensuring that each party performs his or her designated roles with an aim of attaining the best relationship that can be fostered by proper communication between the parent and the adult child(Woods, 2016). A nurturing parent naturally talks to a natural child whereas the controlling parent talks to an adaptive child. Most of the adolescents belong to the group of adaptive children who are described to have an ego state that is depicted through their response which has some negativity, some resistance, hostility and some reaction in it. It is with this reason that the parents become controlling as they correct their adult children while also prohibiting some of their adult children’s unpleasant behaviors.
Linear communication model
The linear model of communication entails one sender and a receiver who usually doesn’t give feedback(Woods, 2016). In this model, the presence of noise acts as a barrier that interferes with the message being transmitted to the receiver (Woods, 2016). In addition, the sender is usually considered to be more prominent as compared to the receiver. This type of communication model can be seen with most adolescents who struggle with their emotional and cognitive challenges. Many seek self-independence and with that come disrespect to their parents whom the young adults would consider as being too nosy. Thus, this model describes an ineffective communication between a rogue young adult and a parent. In other cases, the parent may be too strict and harsh to allow the young adult to express himself. Thus, the adult child becomes the receiver who is at no position to send feedback to the sender who in this case is a controlling harsh parent.
This form of transaction is usually bi-level and entails two messages being sent at the same time. The first type of message is usually a verbal statement whereas the other is usually nonverbal statement that has hidden psychological meaning (Narula, 2006). The verbal statements are grouped as being overt whereas the nonverbal messages are grouped as being covert (Narula, 2006). The parent-adult child communication can be found in the category of covert as the message usually entails nonverbal statements that have psychological hidden meanings. Most of the adolescents are usually shy and secretive and it is with this profound reason that they instead opt to send nonverbal statements that have hidden meanings to their parents.
This communication model best fits that of a responsible adolescent and an understanding parent. Interactive mode of communication is characterized by two participants sharing their ideas freely(Woods, 2016). Both of the participants exchange their opinions as they both receive and send messages. This type of model entails both verbal and non-verbal statements. In addition, communication may be between humans or between a human and a machine.
Understanding adolescence and how it may contaminate communication between theyoung adults and their parents
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.
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). According to Erickson’s psychosocial theory of life development stages, parents and the society are among the external factors that influence the personality of a growing child. The young adults should understand the fact that every person undergoes a series of eight interrelated stages right from infant till adulthood(Thompson & Sullivan, 2008). The table below clearly describes each stage of development right from an infant stage to maturity stage.
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 (Wolfe & Mash, 2008). 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(Wolfe & Mash, 2008). According to Maslow, every person requires certain needs to be met before they would have the motivation to meet other needs (Thompson & Sullivan, 2008). As children transition into adulthood, they become more weary and aware of the needs that would make them feel whole and satisfied. The following diagram describes Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
Therefore, in order for adult children to regain a close association with their parents, it is vital for them to keep the lines of communication always open. This course study has thus developed the following steps that the young adults can follow to effectively communicate with their parents.
- Being respectful
Young adults are obliged to show respect to their parents at all times. This is due to the fact that parents remain to be part and parcel of their children’s’ lives and the least that the young adults ought to do is showing their parents respect. The young adults should acknowledge the fact that their parents only want the best for them. Thus, the young adults should develop an attitude of respecting their parents’ opinions and decisions. This is entirely vital in building trust and open communication between the parent and the adult child.
- Be humble and developing a positive attitude
Amid emotional and cognitive maturation, many adolescents feel the need of being independent and self-reliant. Most opt to make decisions on their own while many disregard the opinions and decisions made by their parents. The end results are usually negative and it is with this reason that a young adult ought to seek the opinions of their parents who have had much experience and expertise with life’s challenges. Being humble will promote an open communication where parents will feel more wanted and needed in their young child’s lives. Humility showcased by the young adults indicates good attitude and a show of respect and trust to their parents. This will indeed help in establishing an effective communication between the adult child and the parent.
- Being a good listener
The young adults should adapt to the habit of listening more and talking less. This is especially vital in creating an effective parent to young adult communication. Since the parents remain to be in control, the young adults can show respect by listening more so as to prevent a situation where both parties are speaking at the same time. This is also helpful enabling the young adults to understand their parents’ viewpoints and advices. This would also help in creating an interactive model of communication where both the young adult interact and communicate freely with each other as they take time to listen to each other’s opinions. The young adults should also realize that parents have the last say.In order to have a fruitful discussion, the young adults should learn to listen more as opposed to talking 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.
- Being honest
Poor communication is can 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. Dishonesty to the young adults committing life mistakes as they are not able to get sound advice from their parents. Therefore, it is vital for the young adults to maintain honesty at all times so as to gain trust and sound advice from their parents. Thus, honesty in communication goes a long way in protecting the young adults from the society’s moral decay.
- Availability of both parties
For communication to be effective there needs to be more than one party. Thus, the availability and willingness of the adolescents to hold conversations with their parents 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 have 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.
On the other hand, 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.
Lesson on the effect of negative and positive 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 adult child and the parent. Some of these barriers of communication include the lack of dialogue, poor listening skills 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 often leads to a hostile relationship between the young adults and their parents. 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 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 young adult and parent smoothly navigate through the various transition stages.
Limitations of the course
The limitation of this course is that it does not provide real life practical lessons. This is because of the fact that this course study is emphasizes passive studyas compared active practical roles to the young adults. In addition, this course study may be encouraging one way communication whereas the parents are not guided on how to handle and understand their adolescent children.
The solution for the above limitations involves the parents being included in the course study. This would ensure that both parties learn on how to effectively communicate with each other. This would also provide an active practical role for the adolescent child thus enabling the young adult to fully grasp, memorize and understand the course study.
In conclusion, it is important for young adults to acknowledge that adolescence is a transition stage that could be smooth if there is proper communication between them and their parents. 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.
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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.
Narula, U. (2006). Communication models. New Delhi, India: Atlantic.
Wood, J. (2016). Communication Mosaics.Cengage Learning.
Thompson, T. S., & Sullivan, C. R. (2008).Teaching insights: Framing the BIG picture of teaching. Broomfield, Colo: Teaching Insights.