By Jason Gibson
One of the toughest things for your teenager is to clearly see what you see when you make a choice that goes against their wishes.
It usually starts when you say, “You cannot go to . . . ” or “You must . . . ” If you are not intentional about what you say next, conversations like this can quickly spin into an argument or a power struggle. Unlike when your teen was much younger, it is critical to help them see the “why” behind “what” you decided.
The best way to navigate this is to talk to your teen about “parent vision” before you have to use it. Parent vision is your unique ability to see something in a situation that your teenager does not see. The moment of disagreement is not the best time to first share why you are uniquely qualified to make this decision (and cause their subsequent short-term misery). In the moment of conflict, your teen will only be focused on why they have to do or not do something that goes against their desires.
By Jason Gibson
As we move into some of the favorite months of the year for teens, it is a great time to consider how to make the best of this season of sunshine and freedom. Many new experiences can occur for teens during the summer, and parents should be intentional about taking the steps needed to help those memories be something that is savored rather than regretted.
Here are 3 ways to reach the destination: “The Best Summer Ever”
1) Determine the destination
Encourage your teen to think about how to have the best summer ever. Where do they want to find themselves at the end of the summer? Though a new place to visit is nice, help them to think about more than just a location.
Great summers are about experiences that will allow them to try something new, meet new people, and start fresh–all of which can happen without even having to leave your community. Here are some questions to start the discussion:
- What is something you have always wanted to do but couldn’t?
- What would you like to learn how to do/play/be?
- What person or place could you help in a meaningful way?
- Are there any relationships you would like to begin?
- Are there any relationships you need to let go?
2) Illuminate the blind spots
In addition to great freedom and opportunity for your teen during the summer, there is also the need for increased responsibility. There is potential for the summer to become very painful for those teens who are unaware, ill-equipped, or alone. As parents, you need to move past the light stuff and onto those topics that are a bit heavier and sometimes awkward to talk about–things like alcohol, drugs, relationships, sex, and pornography. Not only can these choices be problematic in the present, but they can also have an impact that will last a lifetime. You are the best person to help your teen navigate these waters before they become turbulent.
3) Make a plan
After you have encouraged your teen to determine their destination and helped them to uncover the blind spots, go ahead and have them make a plan. Something written is always better. For example, give them a journal, and at the top of each page, they can write what they want to accomplish this summer. As each goal is achieved, then have them write about it on the appropriate page. You could even have them go digital and do the same thing via computer or social network. Don’t be afraid, though, to encourage your teen to unplug from the digital universe. Many beautiful sites (literally and figuratively) have been missed because eyes were on an electronic device!
Don’t forget that you and your teen can always revisit your plan as the summer progresses. Some of the best vacation memories are those unplanned detours that let us see something we never knew existed. Don’t fill all your pages, either; leave something to consider for the next summer.
Have a safe trip!
Brainstorming: What ideas do you have for parents and teens to use as they plan their summer vacation?
By Shellie Hochstetler
How can I say this nicely? Is there any possible way to say this without sounding harsh? “Back off,” “Chill out,” or “Slow your roll” just seems a little too . . . not passionate enough. How about “Shut up”?
That works, and everyone knows what you mean. Right?
You’re probably wondering what in the world I am talking about! I am talking about soccer (or whatever sport happens to be in season) moms or dads or grandparents or whoever it is that feels they have the right to ream their child out in front of their teammates, opposing team, and all the people who are watching the game!
Nothing ticks me off more than seeing a parent yelling at their teen during a game.
Can you tell me how that makes the teen a better athlete? Does it work for you to scream at them at home? Don’t think so.
They just tune you out. So why do we think they will run faster, play harder, or think more strategically if we yell at them while they’re on the court or field?
We were at a soccer game this weekend. A dad from the other team yelled at his daughter the entire game. I watched that 14-year-old girl get slower and more discouraged as the game went on. He was also irritating the heck out of the rest of the parents. I watched the girl’s face cloud and grow defeated with every harsh word he spoke.
We show such disrespect to our teens when we yell at them on the field. It tells them that they just aren’t good enough. We hold the title of “parent,” but that doesn’t give us the right to humiliate our child in front of other people. It doesn’t matter if it is in front of one person or a thousand, we owe our teens our respect. If we don’t show them respect, why would we ever expect them to respect themselves or even us? They have every right to receive encouragement from us. If we feel that we must “coach” them ourselves, we should save it for a one-on-one conversation.
I am writing as a recovering yeller. I am as competitive as the next person. I was one of “those” moms until I realized that I was hurting her, not making her better. Don’t get me wrong. I still yell; it’s just different. I yell for her and not at her now. I think my child is phenomenal at her sport! (Even if she isn’t, don’t tell me, because I simply won’t believe you.)
What about you? Are you a current or recovering yeller? How have you seen this affect your teen?
I just wanted to take a minute today and thank everyone for their amazing encouragement you have given me since I began Parentzilla.
Over the last 6 months I have seen some pretty amazing things happen.
Parentzilla has been on the websites of USA TODAY, MSNBC, the TODAY
SHOW, and over 100 newspapers and tv stations. I just started a
daily radio segment called the “Parentzilla Minute”, and I have
interacted with thousands of parents of teenagers.
This has been an incredible ride. So why am I going to take the
website offline on June 9, 2012?
The simple answer is that we are going to be UNDER CONSTRUCTION for
It’s time to take what I do with Parentzilla to another level.
On July 9, 2012 I will re-launch Parentzilla with both free content
and premium content.
You will be able to subscribe to Parentzilla to receive coaching,
encouragement, and a strategy for the teenage years.
I call it the 7 Bridge Builders to the Heart of Your Teenager.
I am stinking excited!!
Your Parenting Partner,
When I re-launch Parentzilla on July 9 I will not include our current ebooks. So if you want them you need to download them in the next 18 days. I just made both of them FREE and you can get them here.