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?”


Teens Need to Belong

One of the most powerful influences on young people today is their need to belong—to fit in and to be accepted by those they consider to be their peers.

Research shows that the need to belong is growing as our culture fragments into smaller and smaller pieces and divorce fractures family units.  Belonging can’t be bought, it can’t be forced, but it can be taught, nurtured and modeled.  Why should a parent nurture their teen’s sense of belonging in their own family?  Because if they don’t, the teen will go on a quest to find belonging in all the wrong places.

While the powerful drive to belong can be a force for good if their peers are of good character, all too often it can lead a teen to emulate the more popular kids who are “characters”.  Teens may simply not know how to achieve a sense of belonging in a healthy way. They think they want an in with the “in” crowd, so they act and look just like them. It’s an odd combination, because at the same time they also want to be unique and independent. Continue reading “Teens Need to Belong”