3 Effective Communication ‘Secrets’ to Help Raise Confident Tweenagers

Character Building: Preteens 3 min read
Effective Communication is Key for Confident Tweens
Photographer: rahmani KRESNA | Source: Unsplash

Effective communication is essential in building strong lifelong relationships with your children—

And goes beyond just speaking to tweens. It involves:

  • actively listening,
  • understanding their perspective, and
  • responding in a way that fosters healthy communication.

In this article, I’ll briefly explore 3 key aspects that helped me to be an effective communicator with the tweens in my life.

Feel free to put one or two in your pocket as ‘the adult in the room’.

Listening shows kids they matter. we love them, and their words are important. ~ Anonymous
Listening shows kids they matter. we love them, and their words are important. ~ Anonymous

1. Actively Listening in Your Communication

  • Actively listening means giving our full attention to our children when they are speaking.
They must know they are worthy of your attention.
  • Avoid interrupting them and allow them to express themselves fully.
  • Show empathy by acknowledging their feelings and validating their experiences.
  • Avoid using absolutes like "always" or "never" in a demeaning manner.
To truly listen, we need to put aside our preconceived notions and pride; suspend our biases and ego.

This means actively seeking to understand others instead of just waiting for our turn to speak. (Engel, 2018).

Continuing on With Active Listening

  • Make an effort to understand what your child is trying to communicate.
  • Reflect back on what they say to ensure you have understood correctly.
  • Validate their thoughts and feelings without judgment or criticism.
  • Avoid telling them how they should be feeling;
    instead, let them express themselves authentically.

Communicating with kids builds resilience by providing them with a safe space to express their thoughts and emotions, fostering their problem-solving skills, and nurturing their self-confidence.

2. Avoiding Communication Power Struggles

  • Refrain from using accusatory language that can undermine resilience development.
  • Instead of shaming, blaming or complaining, offer constructive feedback and guidance.
  • Encourage problem-solving by asking open-ended questions that promote critical thinking skills.
  • Create an environment where your child feels safe expressing their thoughts without fear of judgment.

Here’s one way to look at it.

Your child is allowing you into their thinking process. If you’re constantly judging when you’re allowed into that space, they won’t welcome you there anymore.

One skills worth practicing is to simply follow.

Following (Robertson, 2005) is to give them room to talk. Don’t interrupt with questions and even allow for moments of silence.

This way, you can fully focus on what they're trying to convey.

Remember, they are processing these ideas along with you, and their critical thinking skills are not as fast as yours.

One of the most important things we adults can do for young children is to model the kind of person we would like them to be. ~ Carol B Hillman

3. Being an Important Communication Model

  • As parents and educators, we serve as role models for effective communication.
  • Use ‘well-being’ language and avoid remarks that:
    demean or
    damage self-esteem.

You’d think this should go without saying, however it’s amazing how often I see adults casually do this. It’s either parents in parent teacher conferences, or at the lunch table with other teachers speaking of kids.

Of course, ‘positive language’ is subjective and we don’t want overly sensitive kids. However, if some language is bothersome to a child, let them know they have space to speak about how it makes them feel. This takes a “measurable dimension of empathy” (Olson & Iwasiw, 1987, p. 104)

In Conclusion

Effective communication is the foundation for building strong relationships with our children.


  • understanding and validating their experiences,
  • being positive communication role models,
  • avoiding power struggles, and
  • actively listening,

we can create an environment where open dialogue thrives.

Here, we sow the seeds of trust and security, for future forests of confidence.

This not only enhances resilience but also helps develop important life skills such as:

  • problem-solving and
  • decision-making abilities.

Let's strive to communicate effectively with our children and foster healthy connections that will last a lifetime.

To your success on this journey
as the ‘adult in the room’.

~ m.

Effective communication skills play a crucial role in building confidence in children, as it empowers them to express their thoughts and ideas with clarity and assertiveness.
Effective communication skills play a crucial role in building confidence in children, as it empowers them to express their thoughts and ideas with clarity and assertiveness.


Engel, J. (2018, December 19). How empathic and active listening can improve workplace communication. Forbes. Retrieved June 19, 2022, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2018/12/19/how-empathic-and-active-listening-can-improve-workplace-communication/

Robertson, K. (2005). Active listening: More than just paying attention. Australian Family Physician, 34(12), 1053–1055.

Olson, J. K., & Iwasiw, C. L. (1987). Effects of a training model on active listening skills of post-RN students. Journal of Nursing Education, 26(3), 104–107.

parenting positive psychology empowerment communication active listening relationships