Parenting Modern Teens (& Kids!)

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5 Great Phrases To Say To Your Kids!

Some kids/teens will never ask for help.

Others often ask for help.

And then there are teens who ask...too much.

Some modern teenagers want their parents to over-parent them.

want their parents to do the work for them...bail them them...enable them...and rescue them from adulting.

"Mom, I forgot my homework, will you bring it to me?"

"I can't do my chores today because I have too much homework, will you do them for me?"

"I just remembered I need this from you, can you drop what you are doing and come here and bail me out?!"

"I'm too stressed to do that, leave me alone!"

Being a parent to a modern teen means we constantly try to balance two things...

How to show love and support to our teen, while at the same time not over-parent them?

This phrase will help...

2. As I teach in my free parenting class, we parents should not use the parenting practice of "Command and Control".

We use "Command and Control" when we tell our kids what to do: When we manage their time...or their behavior. When we tell them to stop this and do that instead.

Kids don't want that. They feel controlled and incapable.

It stresses parents out. It's exhausting. 

There are always better alternatives than "Command and Control".

This phrase is powerful...

3. I also teach in the free parenting class, there is power in being close with our children. "Being close changes everything."

It's important for parents to remember that being close with a teen is not automatic. As a parent, we are not entitled to closeness.

Closeness takes work. It takes intentionality. And it takes two.

This phrase is intentional...and inviting.

4. Our generation is not great at speaking about our feelings. We are WAY BETTER than our parents were, but we still have a long way to go.

Powerful and transformative things happen when a parent shares his/her feelings with their children. 

One of the best feelings to share with our children is the emotion of sadness. The Disney Pixar movie Inside Out helped us all to understand this truth. When the main character Riley shares that she was feeling sad, everything and everyone was impacted. Her world changed.

Most parents struggle with expressing sadness.

We are more comfortable with anger...or avoidance...or blaming...or people-pleasing....and many other negative ways to express ourselves...than we are with sharing feelings.

This is a powerful phrase...

5. Being a kid/teen can feel lonely. (Remember?)

Kids/teens want to fit in and belong more than they want anything.

And when you don't fit in, or when you get bullied, or when you don't make the team, or when you see your friends doing something on Instagram and you don't get invited...ouch.

Life can hurt. Loneliness is the worst.

Never assume your children know how much you love them.

Don't assume they know that you are present...and available.

Remind them that no matter what happens, no matter who comes and goes in their life - You will be there.

Your love is unconditional. Your presence is available.

This phrase will help remind them...

If you need support with your family, you can 1) Subscribe to get more articles and tips 2) Contact us for Parent Coaching or 3) Download our free House Rules for Teens PDF.

Stay Strong. Be Close. Teach Wisdom. 

 Sean Donohue

Founder and Family Coach