Parents of teenagers aged 16-18 years: 11 ideas to increase participation and communication skills

This week, our speech pathologist, Juliana Li, gives us 11 ideas to increase the participation and communication skills of teenagers aged 16-18 years.

  1. More independence, choice, voice, and control. Health, relationships, recreation, economics, employment, volunteering, goal-setting.
  2. Future map. Discuss pathways to increased independence, e.g. education, jobs and career, adult relationships, moving out. 
  3. Maintain high expectations. Encourage leadership and increased accountability to others, e.g. within the family, in community services, creative collaborations, social groups.
  4. Promote healthy relationships. Continue educating about intimate relationships. Be there to help when needed, recognising teens will also look to peers and social networks for practical and emotional support.
  5. Up-skill. Encourage more education, training, work, and/or participation in activities (e.g. apprenticeships, internships, sports clubs).
  6. Connect. Investigate fields your teen is curious about and respects. Link up with potential employers and interest groups; encourage mentoring relationships.
  7. Support physical and mental health. Keep educating so teens can make informed decisions about their own health and wellbeing. Connect with community groups and health resources (including online).
  8. Learn through experience. e.g. how to drive, work part time, participate in coding challenges, join a band, camp with friends, cook for others, volunteer, shop, and complete chores.
  9. Seek professional support (if needed). Access services to support your teen’s participation in life and to help them overcome barriers.
  10. Self-advocacy. Continue to instil values, e.g. about justice, human dignity, autonomy, reciprocity, and kindness. Build your teen’s capacity to advocate for themselves and others.
  11. Look after yourself. Prepare for your teen’s adulthood and independence. Continue to invest in your own projects, skills, interests and health. Engage in your own community activities, too!
11 practical ideas to increase your child's participation and communication skills for children aged 16-18 years

Key Source: National Disability Insurance Scheme (2014). Report of the Independent Advisory Council to the National Disability Insurance Scheme: Reasonable and Necessary Support across the Lifespan: An Ordinary Life for People with Disability. Examples our own.

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Hi there, I’m David Kinnane.

Principal Speech Pathologist, Banter Speech & Language

Our talented team of certified practising speech pathologists provide unhurried, personalised and evidence-based speech pathology care to children and adults in the Inner West of Sydney and beyond, both in our clinic and via telehealth.

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