Many parents have similar complaints and worries.

She never stops using the computer!” father complains. “She never gets enough rest, I wonder if she is suffering from internet addiction?

Many adolescents harbor similar grudges against their parents.

I’m not playing games! I just need to use the computer to search for information so I can complete my project. They never believe what I say.

Learning more about “computer” can help alleviate some of the parents’ worries.

Adopting a different tone of voice or minding the words you use can greatly facilitate your communication with teenagers.

Parent: Can you teach me MSN?

Child: (looks puzzled…)

Parent: I want to know more about online games!

Child: (Thinking to himself, “What’s going on here?…”)

Parent: I know I can learn it from books but I saw you teaching people. You are very good at that. I would really like you to teach me!

Child: (Not sure if he heard the message correctly) Do I?

Parent: Of course! So are you willing to teach me?

Child: Alright… when are you free?

Genuine praise can help break the ice and it can be the first step of engaging your teenager in a conversation.