Points to be considered while communicating with youths

Adolescence is a phase of life in which the adolescents are still developing their understanding of themselves, other people and the world around them. They do not trust adults easily and hesitate to communicate with them. Their best friends are their peers. But information from peers can be incomplete and can impair the progressive development of the adolescent into adult. This is the reason why you, as a parent or educator, need to take an initiative to begin the conversation with them on such sensitive issues of sex and sexuality.

Good communication can be an effective means of developing trust of adolescents on you. Generally while communicating with young people, we try to impose our own perception, beliefs and values that clash with the adolescent’s needs, which cuts off the scope of starting any conversation with them. Hence, while talking to them the following points need to be considered:\

  • 1.  Maintain a noise-free environment so that there is no distraction
  • 2.  Maintain privacy of the adolescent
  • 3.  Make the adolescent feel comfortable
  • 4.  Do not use complicated, unfamiliar words and medical terms for the adolescent
  • 5.  Do not give too much information at once
  • 6.  Keep in consideration your own perceptions, beliefs and values that can clash with the adolescent’s needs
  • 7.  Give adequate time
  • 8.  Do not order, direct or command
  • 9.  Do not warn, threaten
  • 10.  Do not blame, criticize or judge
  • 11.  Avoid name calling, ridiculing, shaming

Above mentioned are the points for verbal communication but while giving the messages other non-verbal clues play a great role on whether the adolescents receive the message in the same way as you wanted to convey. Types of non verbal communication like body language, facial expression, gestures and posture, and eye contact represent two thirds of all communication. While perceiving the message the focus of a person is on entire environment and all the five senses are used during the interaction of which 83% is sight, 11% hearing, 3% smell, 2% touch and 1% taste. See below the list of positive and negative non-verbal actions which will be fruitful for your effective interaction with young people.




Leaning towards the client

Not making or maintaining eye contact

Smiling without showing tension

Glancing at one’s watch obviously and more than once

Facial expressions which show interest and concern

Flipping through papers or documents

Maintaining eye contact with the adolescent

Frowning, Fidgeting

Encouraging supportive gestures such as nodding one’s head

Sitting with arms crossed

Avoiding nervous mannerisms

Leaning away from the client

Appear attentive and listening

Yawning or looking bored


To know about the techniques to answer questions click here. To learn more about what should be emphasized while giving messages to adolescents click here.
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