Teenagers communicate in a variety of technologically-advanced methods, from texting to instant messaging. However, many teens are losing the simple ability to verbally get their point across, or follow simple instructions. Use enjoyable games to help build your teen's communication skills.
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Baking With Verbal Instructions
Teach your teenager the importance of following a baking or cooking recipe. However, the difference is your teen is unable to see the recipe instructions -- you must tell her verbally. Tell your teen the instructions for the recipe once, and see how much she can remember. If she struggles, give her hints, but don't allow her to see the recipe. Encourage your teen to ask questions and repeat instructions for clarification. If your teen is able to communicate well, the recipe will turn out. Otherwise, keep trying until your teen is able to follow the verbal directions perfectly.
Strengthen your teen's communication skills by placing her in the role of project manager, at least with some children's building blocks. Provide your teen with the blocks and instructions on how to complete a simple structure. Tell her the end result should be a house constructed from a certain number of bricks, such as 20 white, 20 blue and 15 red. Blindfold yourself or another adult. Tell your teen to start instructing the blindfolded individual how to complete the project based upon the diagram in a set amount of time, such as 30 minutes. It's the teen's responsibility to communicate clear instructions.
Parental Role Reversal
Strengthen your bond while increasing your teen's ability to work out conflict verbally by switching roles. Let your teen know that she is playing the role of parent for the next one to two hours, and you are the teenager. Remind her that she is to act like you, and try to work through any family issues. For example, if the teen is habitually breaking curfew, tell her to look at the situation through the parent's eyes. Take this opportunity to look at the issue through your teen's perspective. Turn this activity into a game by having both parties write down what they believe the other's response would be in their original roles as parent and teenager.
Body language is an aspect of communication, and one that is strengthened by playing a game of “Draw the Animal.” Write down the names of several animals on individual slips of paper. Take turns acting out the animal with your teen and members of your family. However, instead of verbalizing the answer, the other participants must draw what animal they believe the teen is acting out. Remind your teen and all the other participants there are amusing penalties for speaking, such as running around the house 20 times or getting hit by water balloons.