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Communication Problems at Home

Karen has communication problems with her teenage son, and she feels helpless. She visits

her friend, Megan, who is a secondary school teacher to talk about her concerns...

Megan: Hi, Karen! It’s great to see you! How are you?

Karen: I’m tired... tired of trying to find a way to get through to my son David. He won’t

talk to us, and he doesn’t obey any of our rules either. Every time I try to talk to him or ask

him to do anything, he reacts harshly and he’s so disrespectful!

Megan: You need be patient with him... Try to remember that this is just a phase in their

lives. Teenagers go through such an intense period of development and changes. Their

changing emotions make communication more difficult too. So, please don’t take his

reactions personally... He’s developing independence, resilience, and problem-solving skills...

Karen: Really? But he criticises every decision we make! Sometimes, I feel like he doesn’t

want to be a part of our family.

Megan: Don’t worry, I hear this all the time. This is just typical teenage behaviour.

Teenagers can be moody, distant, and very defiant - it’s completely normal and not a

reflection of your parenting skills.

Karen: I’ve read some articles about the issues we’ve been having at home - they all say that

parents need to be more understanding and put ourselves our children’s shoes, but I don’t

know how to do that…

Megan: Start by telling your son that you understand how he feels. Your concern will show

him that you really care, and it will encourage him to do the same!

Karen: OK, thanks for your advice, Megan – it’s worth a shot…

Cups of Coffee
Communication Problems at Home


Phrasal verb
Example sentence
To let down someone

To make someone disappointed when you have not fulfilled a promise.

She promised that she would be there but she let me down.

To break down

1.  To become very upset.

2.  When something stops working

1.  She broke down when she opened her results.

2.  The lift broke down.

To bring somebody/something down

1.  To make someone lose their powerful position.

2. To make something end.

1.  He brought his boss down by exposing personal emails.

2.  The rise in export prices could bring the hospitality industry down.

To bottle something up

To refuse to talk about things when someone is worried or upset.

After his father passed away, he bottled his emotions up and wouldn’t talk to anyone.

To get something across

To make someone believe or understand something

He tried to get his point across but his manager wouldn’t listen.

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