Confronting Your Teen’s Mistakes

“The difference between the exact right words and the almost right words is like the difference between lightning bugs and lightning bolts.”  — Mark Twain

discussionAvoiding toxic words and wrong motivations helps maintain a solid relationship while effectively confronting your teen’s mistakes.


I haven’t met a teen yet who doesn’t want to know they will continue to be loved when they’ve made mistakes. Loving someone seems easy when everything is going well.  It’s a quite different matter when your teen breaks your rules, and their life spins out of control.   In those times, the best way to demonstrate your continual love for them is to take care in the way you confront their misbehavior, avoiding toxic words and wrong motivations.

The first step is to let your teen know why you are confronting their misbehavior. It is that you love them and want to help them avoid bigger problems later in life. Demonstrate your respect for them by your demeanor, assuring them that you will move toward them in times of difficulty and struggle, not away from them.  Tell them that you can’t possibly love them any more than you do, and you’ll never love them any less, not even when they are at their worst. Continue reading “Confronting Your Teen’s Mistakes”

Managing Conflict With Your Teen

peaceMost of us want to avoid conflict with our kids, but did you know that conflict in a family can offer you an opportunity to pull together like never before?  If reckoned with properly, conflict is a force for change that has the power to brings relationships together rather than tear them apart.

Another positive aspect of conflict is that it helps a child learn how to stand up for himself.  How else will he learn how to say “No” when he needs to, or “That’s just not right,” or, “I don’t agree with that.”

So, how can you effectively manage conflict with your teen in a way that maintains a solid relationship, while at the same time honors the household rules? Continue reading “Managing Conflict With Your Teen”

Teens Can Learn By Your Mistakes

parent and teenDo you understand what your teenager is thinking?  Probably not. Maybe you wonder if your teenager is thinking at all!  Though the evidence may suggest otherwise, your teenager is probably thinking too much about the world around them and wondering too much about how they will fit in.

A teenager’s culture can dramatically affect how they think and act.  And today’s culture is far different from when you and I were teenagers.  What’s similar is their need to fit in and to be liked by their peers, which can trump all other needs in their life.  But can you appreciate the unusual pressures they face today, like their wondering if the economy will ever recover and whether or not they’ll get a job, go to college, or have what you had in life? Continue reading “Teens Can Learn By Your Mistakes”