5 Secrets for Communicating with Your Teenager

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By Debbie Pincus, MS LMHC

 

You and your teen: two different worlds, two different perspectives—and a giant disconnect that can make communicating frustrating. As a therapist and the mother of three teenagers myself, I know firsthand that the more you push your kids, the more they get defensive and dig in their heels. They become reactive in the form of explosiveness or shutting down and ignoring you.

 

When they are not exploding, they are thinking the following: “My parents don’t have a clue, so what’s the point of trying to explain myself? I’ll just tune them out.”

 

Clamming up or exploding are both ways your teenagers attempt to manage their stress and defend themselves. In fact, these may be the only ways your teen knows how to communicate when things get intense—which of course only causes more conflict.

 

Here are 5 secrets that I’ve foun ...

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Posted in:

  • Empowering Parents

Motivating the Unmotivated Child

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By James Lehman, MSW   

Over the years, parents have asked all the time about why their kids aren’t motivated and what they can do about it. How can you get your child to be more motivated? To do better in school? To even go to school?

The important thing to remember is this: your child is motivated. They’re just motivated to resist you and others when they do not want to do something. The key is to learn how to turn their negative motivation into a positive one.

        Here is what I always advise for the most common and frustrating motivation issues that parents face.

   Q: When a child becomes unmotivated, won’t get out of bed, won’t do homework or participate in activities, what is he trying to tell the parent through this behavior?

When we’re talking about kids not getting out of bed, not doing their homework or school assignments or not wanting to ge ...

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Posted in:

  • Empowering Parents

an alternative to worry

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   A law-abiding, honest man received a voicemail that said, “This is officer _______ from the police department. Please call me at this number.” Immediately the man began to worry—afraid that somehow he had done something wrong. He was afraid to return the call, and he even spent sleepless nights running through possible scenarios—worried that he was in some kind of trouble. The officer never called back, but it took weeks for the worry to go away.

Jesus asked an interesting question about worry: “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (Matthew 6:27). Perhaps this can help us rethink our tendency to worry, because it suggests that it doesn’t help the situation we’re concerned about.

When problems are on the horizon for us, maybe we can try the following two-step approach: Take action and trust in God. If we can do something to avoid the problem, let’s try that route. We can pray for God to guide ...

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  • From the desk of the Chaplain

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