How to Parent Your Teenager.
Their world has drastically changed. Parents need to change, too.
We have met the enemy. And he is us. (Pogo)
You Are Your Teenager’s Parent, Not Boss
Parents: don’t be your own worst enemy. Teenagers are still your children. You are still their parent. But you are no longer their boss. You’ve been fired.
Your task now is to get rehired as a consultant. This will happen only when they want it–not when you want it. But you can do things that will give yourself a reasonable chance to get “back in your teenager’s good graces,” so that he or she is willing to cooperate with you much more and be less defiant, as I will show you.
Why I Love Working with Teenagers
I love working with teenagers – and their parents too. I’ve always enjoyed teens back in the days when I was a practicing psychotherapist, and more recently since I’ve been coaching parents on being the best parents they can be. Why do I love working with teenagers?
First of all, teenagers are spunky and think they know it all. Indeed, they tend to be quite confident and feel like they’re ready to take on life as an adult. They can be quite stubborn and resistive to adult pressure. They think they have all the answers, and I like that attitude. The reason I like that is my second point.
Your Great Experiment with Your Teenager
With your teenager, back off, and be positive.
Here is a game plan for parents dealing with teenagers. It is a four-week experiment that you should try with your teen. You are the one who needs to make changes first in order to get along better with him and to help him successfully accomplish breaking away from you (which is his developmental task).
1. Goals of your experiment:
- End parent-child fights
- Improve communication.
- Obtain cooperation.
- Foster responsibility.
- Enjoy parenting.