Talking to Teens
by Rick Johnson
November 05th, 2015

For many dads, one of the biggest struggles they face is how to effectively communicate with their children.

Fathers often aren’t as adept at verbal communication as women, who use three times the amount of words daily and have twice the vocabulary as the average guy. For me, understanding how to communicate with my son first required understanding how males receive information.

Males are very visual and evaluate much information through their eyes, ears and noses. A man’s role for thousands of years was as a hunter to provide food. This developed his eyesight and hearing and gave him the ability to sit quietly and focus on one thing for long periods of time. But due to this and other biological reasons, our verbal communication skills suffer.

Therefore much of what men communicate, especially to boys, is through modeled behavior. This was encouraging to me when I realized it, as it took some of the pressure off me to verbally communicate. Males are so visual that they learn primarily through observation. As an example, boys without fathers struggle mightily understanding their roles as men, husbands and fathers because they’ve not had it modeled for them.

Studies prove that a father’s involvement significantly influences better outcomes in every area of a child’s life including areas such as poverty, educational achievement, crime, substance abuse, early sexuality, and physical, emotional and psychological well being. 


Rick Johnson is the founder of Better Dads. His passion for families has expanded his work to include influencing the whole family with life-changing insights on parenting, relationships, and personal growth. Rick is the best-selling author of 11 books on parenting, marriage, and masculinity. He is a popular keynote speaker at men’s and women’s conferences and retreats. 

More of Rick Johnson: www.betterdads.net