Communicating with children and teenagers

“Connection is the energy that is created between people when they feel seen, heard and valued – when they give and receive without judgement”  Brene Brown

Lack of communication is often cited as a major cause of stress and frustration. Children and teenagers complain that their parents don’t listen to them and parents complain that their children don’t listen to them. Employees complain that their boss never listens to them, and vice versa.

Strangely enough, if you ask someone what they would like from a listener, they readily list things like eye contact, focused attention, some response and not feeling judged (listener is open to what the speaker has to say). Yet in practice, few people really listen. They are constantly distracted by what is happening around them, or by thoughts in their heads. They rehearse a comment silently in their heads, waiting for you to take a breath so they can jump in with their opinion.

Try giving your child or teenager your full undivided attention next time they speak to you. Interestingly, they aren’t always wanting advice  – they just want to have their feelings heard and acknowledged. More on this next time.  

“In true dialogue, both sides are willing to change.” Tich Nhat Hanh

(Chapter 9 : Communication)

The full book can be downloaded as an e-book from Amazon on  or, Search by typing in: Living in the Now by Jill Jacques


About Jill M Jacques

I grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa, and have spent most of my life here doing the usual things - marrying, having children and caring for an array of pets ranging from dogs to silkworms and chameleons. I first became interested in philosphy and its practical application in everyday life in my early 20s and spent many years as part of a group that pursued this goal. Drawing on this experience, I have been running "How to live in the Now" programmes for over 10 years. I wrote this book in response to requests from group members for something "simple and practical". I tend to see the funny side of life situations and enjoy writing humorous back pages as well as short stories and some poetry. Some of these have been published. Being here now is what really matters.
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