Welcome to The Teen Doc! I know teen issues are frequently addressed on an “as needed” basis. “I am having trouble with my teen; let me ask a friend or find a parenting book.” It is human nature to wait until you have an illness to seek the cure once you have the illness. But I’m going to challenge you to consider, what if you knew the basics before the issue arose? What if, you had such basic insight into what was around the corner for your teen that you felt prepared? What if you could interpret “the code” that is teen?
You’d feel more prepared and in charge, as a parent should. AND, your teen might feel secure and confident about your parenting and your ability to understand where they’re coming from. This is the goal.
Teens want to be able to go to their parents. They’re more likely to do this if they feel their parents understand and empathize with what’s going on in their life. Parents want to feel that things are in control and their teen is going to end up happy, responsible and self-sufficient.
I help parents do this everydayas a teen doctor. A good place to start:
1. Think. Remind yourself of the things you like about your teen. Everybody makes mistakes, but they don’t want to be defined by them. They certainly don’t want people bringing them up all the time.
2. List. Consider three things that you really like or are impressed with that your teen does. (I know this may take a minute for some so, I’ll wait. Da-da da-da, da-da da. Done? Good.)
3. Share. Now, go tell your teen what you think of them. Don’t be shy, they’re expecting that you’ll tell them something bad that happened. Surprise them and let them know what you really think of them.
Try and do this every day.