1.) Be responsive, not reactive. This trick requires that you take your emotional responses out of the equation while you are having a conversation with your teen. When you are able to do that, you can respond to what your teen is saying without reacting to how it makes you feel. Yes, it is easier said than done. Use your active listening skills and if you need to, you can always react by yourself later.
2.) Let your teen own the problem. When your teen comes to you with an F on a report card, who owns that grade? You did not sit in the classroom and earn that poor grade; your teen did. Ask him how he plans on fixing it, follow through with discipline, hope he will do better next time and be done with it. The more you fret over a problem that your teen owns, the less he will take ownership of it and the more likely the problem will get bigger. Then, you’ll really feel like yelling.
3.) Keep your frustration in check – or take a time out. If you are upset by the conversation you are having with your teen and there is a chance you may lose it, step out of the conversation and take a break. Simply say, “I need a time out. We can talk more about this later.” Then leave the room and cool off. While this may upset your teen, saying something that you don’t mean could take its toll on your relationship, which is more important. Take a break and come back to it later when everyone is a bit calmer. If you do lose your temper, remember to fall back and regroup before trying to talk again.
Parenting Quizzes for Parents of Teens
- Quiz: Are you raising a healthy teen?
- Quiz: Is your teen safe online?
- Quiz: Do you have a case of parental burnout?
- Quiz: Is your teen over-scheduled?
- Quiz: Are you raising a mean girl?
- How Well Do You Really Know Your Teen?
- Screening Quiz: Is Your Teen Lying?
More on Parenting Teens.