Dr. William Glasser (1925-2013) constantly reminded everyone who reads any of his books (see Resources) , or who took or is currently taking any of the training in Choice Theory that we can only control ourselves. And when parenting a newly minted teen or one who is further along the path to their 20’s, remembering this or even believing this can be challenging.
The following article will give you seven points that can help build or rebuild a better relationship with teens and youth.
- The only person you can control is yourself. You cannot change your son or daughter’s behaviour, but you can change yours.
- All you can successfully do is give information in interesting and
- The most you can give or expect to receive from another person is co-operation. It is important to remember that others make the decision to cooperate with us. Ask yourself: Do I behave in ways that would invite my teen/youth to co-operate, rebel, avoid, or hide things from me?
- Communicating with teens/youth requires excellent communication skills. Explore a few books or websites on the topic of parenting keeping in mind that there are no quick fixes to repairing any relationship, but repairs can be made. Authors often have suggestions on how you can improve your part of a negative dynamic and give you some insight into why that type of dynamic exists. Again keep this foremost in your mind: you can’t change your teen/youth, but you can change how you interact with your daughter or son.
- Role-model how you want your teen or youth to behave. Doing one thing and telling them to do a different behaviour does not contribute to problem solving. For example, yelling at them to stop yelling!
- When parents communicate with teens, their focus is on what he/she is saying and wants. However, the teen/youth’s focus is on how they are experiencing the parent during that interaction.
- As the years pile up, most don’t remember much about their early experiences with parents, but what almost everyone remembers is how frequent and intense was the negativity between the generations.
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