10 Tips to Improve Communication with Your Millennial

10 Tips to Improve Communication with Your Millennial

Millennials might be the least understood population on planet earth, which is a problem for us all. Everyone knows, loves, and interacts with millennials. Sometimes these interactions are complete disaster, and can leave us feeling like we’re speaking an entirely different language. Improving this communication with our millennial children is critical, especially if our millennial is troubled or struggling. But how? It can a significant challenge when we fail to understand them or they actively resist your efforts. We have 10 helpful tips for communicating better with your troubled millennial.

1. Stop Stereotyping Millennials – there’s a reason this is #1! Millennials, like everyone else, hate being pigeonholed into a category that minimizes them. Treat them as an individual, always.

2. Ask them to clarify when you don’t understand. If you sometimes don’t understand what your millennial is saying, you’re not alone. Lingo and jargon are popular and ever-changing. But when you ignore or assume you know what something means, often your millennial will think you’re not listening or don’t care. Ask when you are confused!

3. Compliment them. Every internet article shames millennials for needing validation or support, but withholding it is only going to damage your relationship. Trust us – your millennial needs validation, and giving it will improve your relationship and communication.

4. Be Persistent. They may resist your efforts actively for quite some time, but giving up will send an obvious message that, well, you’re giving up! Keep trying.

5. Try a New Platform. Your millennial may cringe at the thought of a face-to-face heart-to-heart, but they’ll respond to texts. If you’re brave enough to learn the ins and outs of Snapchat you may find yourself sending pics back and forth with your millennial before you know it.

6. Be Vulnerable. Millennials are reluctant to show emotion and weakness. You can show them it’s ok to share your feelings and mistakes. Lead by example!

7. Listen twice as much as you talk. Many adults find themselves lecturing millennials, and maybe with good reason. But that’s definitely not the way to get your millennial to communicate and trust you. Ask them question and then genuinely listen.

8. Respect their Choices. You may not agree with them, but once made you need to respect the decision. If they choose a job, class, college, career, sport, or friends that you don’t particularly love, it can be challenging. But respecting their decision teaches them that you value them as a person and they can come to you with concerns.

9. Be Consistent. It’s easy to try when you’re having a good day, but it’s important to talk with your millennial even on days when you are stressed, busy, out of town, or not feeling great. Consistency builds trust, even if you can’t see it.

10. Bring in Help. When all else fails, admit that you could use some help. See a therapist, take a course together, or enlist in family counseling. It’s well worth the effort to make sure your troubled millennial works through their issues and that you repair your relationship with good communication.

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