Any parent of a teen has been there before. You’ve been launched into unknown territory before you even understood what was upon you. Now you are facing the daunting task of figuring out how to parent this teen. You are dealing with hormones, puberty, friends, homework, curfews, chores, hygiene, talking back, sleep problems, first jobs, extracurriculars, sports, slang, in-style clothes and harmful substances, all while trying to navigate your own life and relationships. It all seems like too much. Here are 3 tips, that you can start today to reduce the overwhelm in your life. You will be shocked at the impact they make.


The biggest mistake that parents make is trying to control their teens. They figure that they are more experienced and wiser and that they are best suited to make decisions for their teenager. It would be so much easier if they would realize your superior intellect and comply with your every request. Unfortunately, teens don’t like you making decisions for them. When you try to, they rebel. This leads to your teen actively working to do the opposite of what you are trying to get them to do, regardless of whether they agree with you or not.

The first thing that you need to realize is…. YOU CANNOT CONTROL YOUR TEEN. They are a living breathing human being with their own opinions and desires and you can’t control them. The more you try to control them, the more they will work to not be controlled, and the more strained and overwhelming your relationship will be. Take a step back and ask yourself… what do I want for my teen, what does my teen want, and where do our goals not line up? A good college and a steady relationship might be important to you but it might not be important to your teen. Just because you think it is a good idea, doesn’t mean that it is. Take the time to get input from your teen about what their desires and motivations are. You cannot shove them into a box that you created. They are unique and special all on their own. Give them the space they need to grow into the person they were meant to be, not the person you think they should be.


Ask yourself, what kind of person do I want my teen to be when they are an adult? Do you want them to be able to stick up for themselves to a boss that is overbearing? Do you want them to advocate for themselves and make decisions in their lives that will impact the world for good? Do you want them to be able to reason out their own values and make decisions about moral dilemmas? If this is the case, why are you getting in their way? Teaching a teen that they must obey you at all costs, does not teach them to advocate for themselves and stand up for what is right. Teaching them that they must adopt your value system does not allow them to reason out for themselves over moral dilemmas. Making all of the decisions for them does not teach them how to problem solve and handle the problems they will face in the real world. Rather than being reactive, be proactive. Teach your teen to be respectful, kind, compassionate, caring, and understanding. Forcing your teen to comply with your rules and values will only teach them that they don’t have a voice in the world and their opinions aren’t important.


So far we’ve talked about letting go of all our little rules and regulations that are working to control your teen and keep them in a box. This is exhaustive and impossible work and will wear you out with very little to show for it. I want you to let go, and allow your teen to be who they are and not get in the way of that. However, that doesn’t mean that it is complete anarchy and we are heading into a free-for-all. Teens still need to know that there are boundaries in every relationship that they need to respect. Setting boundaries for them and enforcing those boundaries teaches your teen that relationships are reciprocal and need to be treated with respect. A boundary is a way of showing love to your teen. It teaches them that you love them enough to care about the quality of your relationship. When choosing boundaries to set, keep in mind what you need for your relationship to succeed. What does your teen need to learn in order to develop healthy relationships? Here are a few areas that are great to set boundaries in:

Chores – Teens need to contribute around the house. (If you want to go out with your friends, you must complete your chores first)

Respect – Teens need to learn to treat others with respect. (not just adults) and the respect needs to go both ways. (If you speak to me disrespectfully, you will not get what you want.)

Responsibility – Teens need to be responsible for their actions (ie, if you get a speeding ticket, you pay for it)

These are three areas that are vital to set up boundaries. Other areas to consider are bedtime, screen time, and homework. However, keep in mind that as your teen matures they will need to learn to govern these areas on their own in order to be a successful adult.


I would love to explore these areas more with you. If you would like to collaborate together to make a plan that will help you to reduce the overwhelm in your life all while raising the best version of your teen you possibly can, I can help you. Coaching sessions give you specific techniques that will work for you in your individual situation. Let me help you discover the amazing parent you are truly meant to be.

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