Misbehavior Can Be Sparked By Loss

Loss in the life of a teen is like is an empty space in their heart aching to be filled. It can range from their loss of popularity to their loss of a parent.  It can be an adopted child’s loss for not knowing his or her birth parents. If a teenager is working through the pain of loss, it will likely affect their behavior. Trying to fill that void with something other than what they really long for won’t work, even if what you have to offer is better. What’s necessary is to understand and to help them work through it.

Think about a child who has lost a parent through death or divorce. The child feels the loss of that parent. If the other parent has remarried, there may be nothing wrong with the replacement. But your child’s longing is to not have that loss, at all, and every time they are around their step-parent, they are reminded of what they no longer have. Continue reading “Misbehavior Can Be Sparked By Loss”

Getting No Respect from Your Teen?

R-E-S-P-E-C-T . . . anyone in my generation who reads those seven letters will recall Aretha Franklin’s heart-felt desire to be treated right, put to song. All of us have that need. Young and old alike, we long to be listened to and respected. Yet disrespect can suddenly appear in the teen years, so parents need to know how to stop it in its tracks.

Instead of an atmosphere of respect and admiration for their parents, as kids get older, slammed doors, loud voices, and biting remarks can become the norm. Or, passive disrespect can be displayed through turned backs, murmuring, silence, and that perennial teen favorite, the rolled eyes. Sometimes parents make the mistake of thinking that disrespect isn’t that serious, so they let it go on. But in fact, disrespect is a major sign of coming trouble. If not dealt with, it can undermine your relationship and your child’s future. So, with that in mind, let me share three simple concepts about the issue of respect to hopefully bring peace and quiet back to your home, and also prepare your teen for successful adulthood. Continue reading “Getting No Respect from Your Teen?”

7 Pillars of Healthy Conflict

When we’re in the middle of the struggle with a teen and the emotions are raging, it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel—or if we do see it, it may look a lot like an oncoming freight train.

In fact, nothing can be more disruptive in the home than a teenager going through a period of intense conflict with their parents. My dear friend, James McDonald says, “There’s no pain like family pain.”  Yet despite the troubles it can bring, conflict can be helpful and strengthen your relationship if it is handled right.  It is not a sign of disaster and failure—it’s a necessary part of progress toward maturity.  So, don’t back away from it…welcome it!

Let me share with you my Seven Pillars of Engaging in Healthy Conflict: Continue reading “7 Pillars of Healthy Conflict”