Article based on the work of Jane Nelsen, Ed.D, Lynn Lott, LMFT et.al.
I’m sure we all remember those toddler days when our kids were really good at saying “no”, running away when it was diaper changing time or throwing a fit because their favorite shirt wasn’t clean and ready to wear. Weren’t they suppose to grow out of this? If you’re feeling challenged, provoked, threatened or defeated by your teen’s behavior, cheer up, you’re not alone! Even though our teens have gained a few years, they can still be experts at successfully engaging us in power struggles.
Get into your teen's world
Whenever your teen’s behavior leaves you feeling provoked, challenged, threatened or defeated, take a few minutes to calm down. Leave the room, count to ten, call a friend. Then, when you’re feeling calm, take a moment to get into your teen’s world. Don’t just think about their world, but really get into it….what is important to them? Are they thinking about when they can clean their room or do the dinner dishes, or how they want to spend the whole evening preparing for their Science test? Probably not! Most likely a teen is thinking about….”what am I going to wear to school tomorrow? should I e-mail that boy in my second period class? My best friend is ignoring me! How can I be more popular? I wonder if I could sneak out this weekend to go to that party.”
Kind and Firm Parenting Tools
Adapted from Positive Discipline for Teenagers, Nelsen, Lott
The next time you are feeling challenged, provoked or threatened, take time to calm down and then try one of these Kind and Firm Parenting Tools:
Our teens need “Kind and Firm” parenting. Parenting that tells them, “I love you and respect you, and I also love and respect myself. Kind and Firm parenting creates balance, communication and respect within families. It is respectful to the teen, the parent and the situation at hand. It gets ourselves and our teens through the challenges of the teen age years and brings us to the young adult years with our dignity, and our child’s dignity, in tact.
by Melanie R. Miller, M.Ed.,
Parent Educator, School Counselor, and Certified Positive Discipline Associate