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Are You In A Win/Lose Relationship With Your Teen?

Teens ask for a lot.




More money.



More food.

More money.

Did I say money?

Parents Have Desires Too

We all want our kids to express gratitude for the many things we do (and buy) for them. 

We want our kids to be good students, speak respectfully, do household chores, manage screen-time, have good, healthy friendships and be maturing as a successful, independent adult.

Our Family Coaches here at, are passionate about giving modern parents TOOLS.

Here are three helpful parenting TOOLS for your journey:


  1. Ensure You Are In A “Win/Win Relationship” With Your Teen 

Raising a teenager should feel like you are in a Win/Win relationship with them.

Your teenager "WINS" because he/she gets things that he/she wants:

Financial access to hobbies, sports, and interests

Parent's money to fund these activities

Cell phone

Video games or computers

Occasional new clothing

A bedroom in your home

A bedroom door which allows privacy

Car rides 

Occasional spending money.

Allow me to remind you...Your teen is not entitled to all this.

You provide these things because you can financially afford to provide them, and you enjoy caring and loving for your children in this way.

Yet, as we discuss Win/Win relationships, don’t forget that parents have things they want too.

Parents "WIN" because you get what you want:

Respectful communication

Treated with honor

Teamwork with chores and household duties

Hard work in school studies

Obedience to the House Rules you set

Intimate conversation about their teen life

Quality time, family dinners, family participation

Gratitude, kindness, and love towards you and other family members.

If you are not getting the things on this list, you may be in a Win/Lose relationship with your teenager!

The good news is that it’s never too late to change that.

  1. Have A “Sit Down” With Your Teen and Talk About How You Can Work Together To Move Towards A Win/Win Dynamic

As I teach about in my NEW free parenting class, creating teamwork is a key to raising modern teenagers.

Yes, there is absolutely a time and a place for discipline...but discipline should only be used as a last resort...when teamwork is unsuccessful.

Using any type of parental power: yelling, threats, discipline or grounding does not create teamwork...and is not fun…for anyone. 

Sit down as adults and talk it out. Work together to make a Win/Win.

(If you’d like more ideas on how to move your relationship into a Win/Win, please visit the Parenting Teens Masterclass or contact us for Family Coaching.)

  1. Only Make “Good Deals” With Your Teen

Parents CONSTANTLY make deals with their kids.

Almost all of these deals are unspoken.

“I will sign you up for this, and I want you to follow my House Rules.”

“When I drive you to that location, I want you to say this to me when I drop you off.”

“If I buy you this, then I expect that you will do this in exchange?”

Beware of making a one-sided deal.

A one-sided deal means you give something but get NOTHING POSITIVE in exchange.  This would be an example of a bad deal.

If you find yourself in the middle of some bad deals with your kids, make some new deals today!

Here are some examples:

Teen Girl - “Mom, I need some new clothes.”

Mom – “Ok, great. I’d love to get you some clothes. How does this sound: You help me paint the living room this Saturday morning, and then in the afternoon we’ll go to the mall together, have some girl talk about life over some sushi, and I’ll buy you those cute new clothes you want. Deal?

Teen – “Yes, mom. Let’s do it.”


Teen Guy – “Dad, can I have a sleepover tonight with my friends and we can buy pizza and ice cream for everyone?

Dad – That sounds awesome, I would love for you and your boys to have that. How about this: You help me with some yard work for a few hours right now, and you give me your word that you and your friends will have lights out at 1 am tonight. Deal?

Teen – No way Dad! Come on! I hate working in the yard. And 1 am? No way! That’s no fun Dad. None of my friends will even want to come over if you make us go to bed at 1 am.

Dad – Well, this seems like a good deal to me. I need help in the yard. It’s hard for me to do this by myself, and I am cleaning it for you and your friends. And for 1 am time, your siblings and Mom and I want to go to sleep and not hear you all past 1. With this deal, we both get things we want.

Teen – “Hmmmm. If we can get pizza AND buffalo wings, then yes – deal.

Dad – “Deal. Let’s get to work in this yard.”

 Click HERE to go deeper with Sean's coaching and take our Parenting Assessment!

Stay Strong. Be close. Teach Wisdom.


By Sean Donohue

Family Coach and Founder

We Show Modern Parents How to Expertly Parent Their Modern Teen Into Maturity and Responsibility 


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