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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Having positive conversations with your teen can sometimes feel like an insurmountable task. I’m here to help. I’m going to show you exactly how to tackle this task in your first step to building a healthy relationship of influence with your teenager.


Let’s start…with starting. How do you actually start a conversation with a teenager who doesn’t really want to talk to you?

Now let’s explore an important way NOT to talk to your teen.

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Western society is built in such a way that it emphasizes the importance of awards and achieving, but what we don’t realize is how damaging this mentality is to our children. What we are really telling them is that if they don’t achieve a certain standard, they really don’t matter. This is so demotivating for children who see themselves as never living up to society’s expectations. Even if they did succeed once, the pressure to achieve that same standard in the future can cripple their efforts.

Rewards a be a great way of achieving temporary compliance, but they take the focus away from what is really important (Pocock, 2017). Instead of thinking about what they are achieving, they will be thinking about the prize they will receive. Eventually, the prize may lose its appeal, and with it goes the motivation. If you take away the prize, you take away the motivation. What we want to do is to build character, not compliance. We want our children to do the right thing because it feels good to do and they receive a sense of accomplishment. We can do this by changing the focus to the process rather than the destination (Pocock, 2017).

The way we speak to our children makes a difference. Phrases like “You did that perfectly,” and “Wow, you are so smart!” enforce a standard that isn’t achievable.

What can we do instead?

Focus on character traits. Praise them in ways that encourage them to develop. This can include phrases like:

“Look how hard to worked at that!”

“You are so determined.”

“I can see you really tried your best.”

Put the focus on their effort, and they will continue to want to excel.


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Pocock, J. (2017) Are we spoiling our kids with too much praise? JSTOR,…/

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In today’s busy world, it’s difficult to escape the trap of reacting to our environment as opposed to creating it. Taking the time to teach our children ahead of time will reduce our need to correct them. (The Arbinger Company, 1998)
Be proactive with your children and try to see potential problems before they happen. Rather than expecting that they know and understand how to act in every situation, see them for who they really are…a child that is learning.
Rather than asking, “How can we stop our kids from fighting?” ask “How can we teach our children love for each other?”
Instead of asking “How do I get my child to do their homework?” ask “What can I teach my child about hard work?”
Spend time building your relationship with your kids. The stronger your relationship is with your child/teen the more likely they are to listen to you. (The Arbinger Company, 1998)
Above all make sure that the example you set for your child reflects your own personal expectations for them. If you want them to be kind to each other, embody kindness yourself. (The Arbinger Company, 1998)
Let me help you navigate these relationships
The Arbinder Company (1998). The Parenting Pyramid.