Most parents would probably agree that the most difficult stage of parenting is at puberty or during the teenage years of the children.  It is usually at this time when children start to edge their way into independence and assert their own personality.

Issues that involve changes in the body, going out with friends or boys sometimes require parenting advice to be tackled properly.  But, there is a simpler way to minimize differences or conflicts between a parent and a teenager, and that is regular and open communication.

It can be difficult for a parent to walk the talk in keeping regular and open communication lines with their teens.  Parents with tight schedules and surly teens can even make it an impossible scenario.

Here are some of the things that parents can do to foster open talk with their teens and provide them with the proper guidance.

1.       Start them talking early.  Encouraging children to talk and share their feelings with their parents builds trust and confidence between parents and children.

2.       Take time to listen.  There is a big difference in hearing and listening. Understanding what the kids want to convey requires careful listening and sometimes a bit of prompting and to help them express their thoughts better.

3.       Schedule regular family bonding activities.  Having regular meals with the family can be bonding moments where parents and teens can update each other on current interest and activities or talk about light issues.