Parenting your out of control teenager

Tips To Nurture Relationships Part 2

Tips To Nurture Relationships Part 2

Opportunities to Build Trust

Trust is an essential ingredient in every relationship. Trust is extremely important in marriages, romantic relationships, with our children and other family members. When the person we're in a relationship with feels a lack of trust with us, they lose hope and a sense resentment starts to build.

Top 7 Reasons for Teen Misbehavior #4

The mere mention of adolescence often produces strong emotional responses from adults.  Teens have strong emotions, and evoke strong emotions from the adults around them!  This stage of development is easily recognizable by the strong need of the teen to define their own  identity apart from their parents.  Some push back and limit testing is developmental appropriate.  But like when the teens were toddlers exploring their environment, adults need to provide safe firm boundaries.  This week we are talking about the top 7 reasons why kids misbehave and how adults can step in and change the course of misdirected behavior. We are using Scott Sells book, Parenting Your Out of Control Teenager. Now that you know about Unclear Rules, Not Keeping Up With Your Teen's Thinking, and Button Pushing, you are ready to learn about #4. Reason #4 Teenager Drunk With Power- Often times a family comes in for family counseling and it becomes apparent very quickly who is in charge- the teen!  The kids know it and the parents know it.  Teens know they can give their parents orders or boss their little sister around because it is allowed in the home.  The teens have not been able to focus on developmental tasks of childhood because there are not enough boundaries enforced by adults at home.  Teens who have too much power want even more power.  It can all start simple enough, not following through with threats because you don't want to upset you child.  Maybe you avoid asking your child to perform a task because you do not want to deal with the tantrum that often follows.  I know a family that stopped going to church, a ritual that brought the family much joy, because their teenage daughter whined too much about getting up early.  These simple acts of handing over your power send very clear signals to your teen that you cannot handle them!  Parents, do not let your children hold you hostage!  Set clear understandings that bad behavior is not rewarded at your house.

If your child is drunk with power, you may need to take strong action to take it back.  Communicate with the coparent and organize a coup d'etat!  Take back your power!  Your teen will most likely resist such an overthrow, but it is for their own good.  While teens may look like adults, they are not.  They cannot reason or use logic at adult levels quite yet?  So do not give them power by allowing their misbehavior to limit your actions.  Teens still need and feel safe when they have firm dependable boundaries.  They may not thank you for it, but they need them all the same.

Please check back as Natalie and Joleen talk about more reasons children misbehave. If you'd like more information on each of these 7  reasons this week, we encourage you to get the book by Scott Sells, Parenting Your Out of Control Teenager. Thank you for reading!

***Adapted from "Parenting Your Out of Control Teenager" by Scott Sells pages 15-16

Written by Christy Fogg, BS, LCSW

Christy Fogg, BS, LCSQ is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Christy enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Christy also does family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield

Tips to Nurture Relationships 5

Speak your child's love language! Speaking your child's love language, whether it's physical touch or quality time (or any of the 5), helps to restore tenderness in the relationship.  This is important, regardless of what relationship you are trying to nurture.

If your child or teen has behavior problems, many times parents will stop doing special outings or use a lack of quality time as a form of "punishment" for bad behavior.  While we aren't recommending that you take your kids to Disney following concrete evidence that they have been stealing from the neighbor, it's important to keep discipline and showing love separate.  Don't use a withdrawal of love to punish, and don't use a child's love language as a reward towards good behavior. 

Showing love to your child needs to be it's own separate entity!

How do you nurture your relationships?

Adapted from Scott Sells book, "Parenting Your Out Of Control Teenager" and "The Five Love Languages for Kids" by Gary Chapman.

Joleen Watson, MS, NCC, is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. She enjoys doing marriage counseling, relationship counseling, couples counseling, and individual counseling.  Imagine Hope also specializes in family, child and adolescent counseling and serves Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield, and Fishers.

Tips To Nurture Relationships 3

A New Approach to Criticism Most of us have that one family member, coworker, or aquaitance that just cannot help but say negative comments.  We usually avoid that person like the plague! One of the most common challenges I see to relationships is how people express concerns or displeasure without being critical.  I have never met anyone, especially teens, who do not shy away from criticism.  It can cause communication to immediately shut down.

As parents and partners and friends, we still need to express ourselves and communicate.  We cannot avoid conflict, but we can learn to express our needs and feelings without judgement or attack.  So how can you have a difficult conversation without sounding critical?

  • Focus your conversation so that it solves problems instead of laying blame.  Placing blame is usually completely unproductive and usually irrelevant to the topic at hand.  It is pointless to blame yourself or the other person in your relationship for the behavior at hand. Focus on the desired behavior and how you can both get to the place you want to be.
  • Discuss the behavior and not the other person's character.  Its easy to go to name calling or judgements when addressing your concerns.  Its easy to call your husband lazy if he walks right past the laundry basket you set out for him to take upstairs.  Its easy to say your child is inconsiderate when they waste all the food you cooked for them from scratch. Its easy, but harmful and will not solve them problem nor invite the person to participate in solutions.  Who wants to work with someone who thinks bad things about them?  Focus on the behavior.  Set up reminders or tell the person what behavior you want without attacking their character.
  • Pick your battles.  You do not have to accept every battle you are invited to.  If you have children, you are invited to a lot of battles!  You can simply ignore behavior or statements unless they go against your personal or family values.
  • Limit your speeches.  Unless you are getting paid to give a speech, avoid it.  Most of our friends and collegues and all of our children are not interested in our long winded speeches. The longer you talk at the other person, no matter how well intentioned, the more likely you are going to sound critical and judgy.
  • Be a good role model.  Gandhi famously said, "Be the change you wish to see in the world". The same thing apples to relationship communication.  Show your friend, coworker, lover, and child how you want them to behave and communicate by providing shining examples with your own behavior.  We cannot expect the other person to speak calmly if we yell.  We cannot expect respect if we do not show it.  We cannot expect hard work if we do not give our full effort too.
Enjoy the changes in your relationships you will see as you continue to nurture them.  Be sure to check out more tips this week from Natalie and Joleen.  As always, thanks for stopping by!
*Source: Parenting Your Out-of-Control Teenager by Scott Sells, Ph.D.

Written by Alexa Griffith, LMHC, LCAC, NCC, RPT

Alexa Griffith, LMHC, LCAC, NCC, RPT  is a licensed therapist and Registered Play Therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Alexa enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Alexa also does play therapyfamily counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling.

5 Toxic Behaviors That Poison Your Relationship With Your Teen

Toxic Behavior #5:  No Oppportunities to Regain Trust When teenagers feel as though they can't regain trust with their parents after something has happened, they slowly give up trying.  Or, perhaps nothing has happened to betray trust, and the parent simply chooses to not allow the teen to show how trustworthy they are.  Either way, learning how to negotiate trust in your relationship with a teen is important.  If they feel like you are constantly looking for ways they are messing up, they will eventually stop trying.  This slowly destroys the intimacy in the relationship and keeps the relationship from being open.

Recommendations:  Learn to strike a balance bethween being too trusting (or giving away trust too easily) and not giving trust back at all.

Adapted from "Parenting Your Out Of Control Teenager" by Scott Sells

Joleen Watson, MS, NCC, is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. She enjoys doing marriage counseling, relationship counseling, couples counseling, and individual counseling.  Imagine Hope also specializes in family, child and adolescent counseling and serves Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield, and Fishers.

5 Toxic Behaviors That Poison Your Relationship With Your Teen

Toxic Behavior #3 Compliment Sandwiches Have you ever received a compliment followed by a "but?"    Imagine your boss tells you, " you did a great job on this report, but you missed a few key items."  It feels more like a complaint doesn't it?  A compliment sandwich is where you put a "but" between a compliment and a criticism.

Some parents feel the need to add a critical comment when they praise their child.  For example, telling your teen "You did a great job folding the towels, but you need to work on your sheet folding skills."  Serving compliment sandwiches such as this creates bad feelings between you and your teen.  They will learn to brace for criticism when they hear a compliment coming.  They will not be able to truly hear your positive words.  When you complain directly after a compliment, it's as if you just undid the compliment itself.  

To stop serving compliment sandwiches, ask a friend or your partner to help make you aware of it by politely pointing it out when you do it.  Practice imagining a giant period at the end of every compliment you give.  If you need to critique poor behavior, address it separately from the good behavior.  This will ensure that your teen hears your positive words and not only the negative.

Make sure to check out Toxic Behavior # 4 tomorrow!

*Source: Parenting Your Out Of Control Teenager by Scott Sells

Written by Alexa Griffith, LMHC, LCAC, NCC, RPT

Alexa Griffith, LMHC, LCAC, NCC, RPT  is a licensed therapist and Registered Play Therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Alexa enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Alexa also does play therapyfamily counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield

 

 

5 Toxic Behaviors That Poison Your Relationship With your Teen- Attacking the Person

Toxic Behavior #2: Attacking the Person Rather Than the Misbehavior This can happen when you don't separate out your teen's misbehavior from their character or personality. When you confront your teen on missing curfew, which of the statements below sounds most like you?

  • "You've missed curfew again. I knew I couldn't trust you to be home on time. You're manipulative and sneaky. I don't know why I bother talking to you about these things".
  • "You missed curfew again. Our written contract says if you miss curfew, your driving privileges are taken away for the next 3 days".

If the first statement sounds like you, then you're attacking your teen's character and personality. If the second statement sounds like you, then you're attacking the behavior itself.

Remember this:

  • Don't call your teen names, or attack their character. Don't say "You're manipulative" or "You're lazy". While these statements may be true, they're hurtful and won't motivate your teen to do what you're asking them to do, or won't stop them from doing what you're asking them to stop.
  • Talk only about the problem at hand. Hold your teen accountable for their behavior and if they broke any of your rules. Stick to the punishment (that you shared beforehand would happen if they broke the rules), and do not comment on their personality or flaws.

Please check back in tomorrow as Alexa shares Toxic behavior #3! Thank you for reading.

*Source: "Parenting Your Out-of-Control Teenager" by Scott Sells, Ph.D.

Written by: Tamara Wilhelm MA, LMHC, LCAC

*Tamara enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, & couples counseling  at Imagine Hope. We also specialize in family counseling, child & adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield & Fishers.

Stopping Your Out of Control Teen- Levels 5&6

Your teen has now pulled out MOST of the stops! They've been disrespectful, are truant or failing school and running away, and now are threatening to have a baby. What could they possibly do next? Level 5: Alcohol or Drug Abuse

Your teen may be thinking, "My Mom won't know what to do if I'm using drugs or drinking. She was able to make it thru me running away and threatening a pregnancy, but she won't be able to stand the thought of me smoking pot (or insert any drug here)!"

No parent wants to hear their child say they are going to use drugs or get drunk. But again, you have to keep your cool. Don't let this threat make you back down. Let them know the rules at your house:

~No one lives here and uses drugs or participates in underage drinking. You will need to go live somewhere else. And I think you know where that got you last time!

~We will shut down your banking accounts with our name on it so you don't have a way to cash your checks from work. We won't be associated with a known felon or have any documents connecting us to that. Additionally, we will not be giving you any money for spending or anything for that matter.

~I will turn you over to the police. We recommend you videotape them smoking pot, if possible, so you can turn this over to the police as evidence.

I know these seem harsh, but you have to use a consequence that is going to taste really bad! Do you want your child to control you or not?

Level 6: Threats or Acts of Violence:

The drug threats usually really tick them off. There is not much left to do but become violent or threaten to use violence.

If your child threatens you, calmly let them know you will call the police if they act in the least bit violent. If they continue, YOU MUST CALL THE POLICE! If you don't follow thru with this, they will control you again and you are putting yourself in danger! Your teen is very angry at this point and most likely will hurt you. Call them, file a report, and let your teen know you have done so. Many times the police coming to the house actually nips it right then and there.

I hope it never comes to this for you and your family. We have seen many families go thru this and it is very painful. However, you cannot let your pain force you to back down and let your teen run over you. It puts them in danger! Love must be tough! Remember- you are doing this because you love your kid more than yourself.

We can't reiterate enough, if it has come to this point you MUST seek professional help. It will help encourage you and give you accountability when dealing with your teen.

Tomorrow Joleen will wrap things up with one last ditch effort kids use as well as give some suggestions and resources to help you. Thank you for reading!

Adapted by "Parenting Your Out of Control Teen" by Scott Sells

Written by Natalie Chandler

Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Natalie enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, and couples counseling.  We also specialize in family counseling, child, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, and Zionsville

Stopping Your Out Of Control Teen Levels 3&4

Maybe your teen is beyond disrespect or truancy and failing school.  Perhaps your child is trying to manipulate you with more severe or dangerous threats.  Has your teen gone to using the next level of aces?  If so, please consult a professional therapist who is specially trained for helping teens and families. Level 3: Running Away- Your teen may be thinking: “Okay, so mom and dad can try to control me by showing up at school and getting in my business and talking to my teachers.  I can’t let them embarrass me like that so I’ll tell them I’ll run away. That will scare them enough to give me what I want”!

This is a ploy used by savvy teens everywhere to make you fear the harm that may come to them on the streets, thus rendering you hostage to your teen’s demands.  However, a powerless parent is ineffective.  Ask yourself, is this household a safe place for my child to live?  Are there drug/alcohol problems in the home or unsafe discipline or parenting that the child is running away from?

If all is safe in the home, it is time to consult with a professional counselor and implement severe consequences for running away.  Techniques like publishing a “wanted poster/flyer” with an unflattering picture of your child with a monetary reward are useful when posted all over the child’s school and hangouts.  Feel free to pawn or sell your child’s prize possessions to finance the reward.  Make sure you communicate with the people at the safe houses.  Talk to the parents of the friends your child may run to.  Make sure that adults and friends know they are legally not allowed to harbor your runaway teen and you are ready to get legal assistance if necessary.  Usually disobedient teens would rather avoid these consequences than continue to run away.  But there are some that will continue to up the ante.

Level 4: Teen Pregnancy- Your teen may be thinking: “Mom and Dad are worried that I am not having safe sex and I will end up with a baby.  They are so worried when I am running away and staying out all night that I am having unprotected sex or get someone/get pregnant.  They are so scared of that they will let me do whatever I want”!

Research from the Department of Health and Human Services shows that teens with behavior problems are the most likely to engage in premarital sex and have unplanned pregnancies.  Talking with your child early and often about sex is the number one way to protect your teen.  However, these conversations need to be held when tensions are lower and parents can convey a safe and respectful atmosphere for such a sensitive conversation.  If your teen is already engaging in unsafe sex, there are some non- traditional methods you can read more about in Parenting Your Out of Control Teenager.  Make sure that your teenager knows what your role would be in your grandchild’s life if they had a child.  Make it clear and document what you will support and what will be your child’s responsibility.  Please consult with your family therapist for more assistance to move beyond this extreme behavior.

Do not ignore or fall victim to these warnings.  Your child is trying to communicate with you using these behaviors.  Your response is critical.  Please check back this week as Natalie and Joleen talk about Alcohol/ Drug Abuse, Violence and Threats of Suicide.  As always, thanks for stopping by.

*Source: Parenting Your Out Of Control Teenager by Scott Sells

Written by Alexa Griffith, LMHC, LCAC, NCC, RPT

Alexa Griffith, LMHC, LCAC, NCC, RPT is a licensed therapist and Registered Play Therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Alexa enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Alexa also does play therapy, family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield