Archive for June, 2010


Taking the phrase “I’m trying to get my teen to go ____” out of your vocabulary

I often hear, “I’m trying to get my teen to go ____” (fill in the blank as to where) and I always ask, “What do you mean you’re trying? Why are you making it an option? Aren’t you the parent?”  Sure, your teen may not like having to go wherever it is you want them to go, be it a counseling appointment, small group, mediation session, or even a family outing, but chances are they’ll be ok once they get there.

However, there are exceptions.  Maybe once they go, let’s say, visit that counselor you want them to see, they may not necessarily like nor connect with him or her.  So, you try someone new. Another example is, let’s say they don’t like the choice you’ve made for a family outing then have them pick where you go next.  If they say, “I don’t know!” then your reply is simple: “Then stop complaining!”

Of course, in all things, it IS important that you communicate.  You do, or should, want your teen to share their opinion and thoughts on a matter. You don’t want to be a tyrant.  But remember, YOU have the ultimate say.

Please keep in mind, I talk to teens all the time, that’s my job and privilege, so I know what they want and what they expect out of you, or me for that matter.  They admit they may not like a firm, yet loving hand, but they certainly respect it.  Does that surprise you?

Here is the truth, and brace yourself: I don’t think your teen is the issue, I think you are (However, there ARE some exceptions to the rule, IF you are truly being the parent).  Some parents just don’t want to fight, so they give in~ your teen sees that as weak, trust me.  Or a problem that is on the rise is that some parents don’t want their teen not to like them. Again, your teen sees this as weak. 

You are the parent~ they are the child.  This doesn’t mean be bossy, but it means doing what is best for them, even at the risk of losing your comfort.