Parenting Tips From Advice Guru Liz Pryor: Communicate With Your Teenager

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Demand Respect and Get Some in Return

Every idea for a new tact is not going to be met with immediate success. We are all creatures of habit. Your child thinks they know you so well that you don't even have to say anything. They think they know exactly what's going to come out of your mouth, in every possible situation in their life.

Challenge yourself and don't say what they think you will say. Have a different response, one you can live with and will land on your teen entirely different than anything else they have heard you say. This might have to happen a few times before they believe you, but stay on it.

The bottom line is to have an effect on your child, to get them to hear your words enough to want to make the changes you'd like them to make. In here somewhere you might learn a few things you didn't know.

This is not the time to throw the towel in and imagine they are all grown up and these are the choices they are making. This is the time to step in, in a way you never have and help them. Help them to see that you are the ally they want and need.

As far as consequences, and attitude, people who have a no-tolerance rule for disrespect in the home, who have implemented it since toddler-hood, are at a huge advantage. For those of you who have not had as much success for demanding respect in the home, put your seatbelt on and demand it. Demand it with confidence and authority.

And remember, kids who are this age are old enough to understand what respect is. If you treat them with none, you will receive none; that's the common dance here that backfires. So show your child respect and see what you get back. You might surprise yourself and your teen.

Most importantly, this time in your life with your teenager is likely another phase of sorts. This is not the stamp for the imprint of who your child will be in the world. Keep that in mind while you change your tact, and make this relationship the mission in your life right now.

Hang tough, keep the faith and look forward to their 20s.

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