COLORADO SPRINGS — When talking to your teen, know that how you say what you are saying makes a difference.

Parenting teens mentor Kristen Duke joined FOX21 to explain the top phrases you should avoid.

  1. What were you thinking?
    • Rhetorical question that doubts logic
  2. It’s not that bad
    • Dismissive and shames negative emotion
  3. Why can’t you be more like…
    • Comparing to others never turns out well

According to Duke, delivery is important. One statement can be controlling, while another can allow self correction. One is demeaning while the other is respectful. One says “you can’t handle responsibility” while the other allows for mistakes.

Duke says, it may not feel like a difference to some people, but delivery is important. It is relationship building and connecting with your teenager on a higher level.

Your ultimate goal: preserve the relationship.