Sue Scheff: Can you Get Along with Your Teenager?

Since being introduced to The Kids Awareness Series, I have discovered great articles in and information for parents of teens today.  It is not just limited to teens and has extensive information on ADD/ADHD/ODD and other labels that we hear about in kids today.  I recently read one of the books in the Kids Awareness Series, Understanding My ADHD, which is for young kids.  I passed it on to my 10 year old neice who quietly enjoyed it.

Here is one of the articles I feel can help parents with teens can benefit from.

KidsAwarenessCan You Get  Along with Your Teenager?

By Kara Tamanini

Of course the number one problem in getting along with your teenager is the inability to communicate with each other.  The first thing that needs to be done is to improve the steps in order to talk with your teenager.  Before you begin to have a discussion about anything with your teenager son or daughter, first agree on a few simple ground rules.  If the ground rules can not be agreed upon, than most likely the discussion will go nowhere.  Here are some simple rules in having a discussion or communicating with your teenager:

1.) Please, please remain calm.  Nothing ever gets solved by yelling or through anger.  Take an interest in what your teenager is saying.  There is nothing more aggravating to a teenager than feeling that their parents are “blowing them off”, I hear that all that time as a therapist.  Teenagers will tell me, “my parents think they know everything, they don’t even care what I think or feel.” 

2.) Listen to each other.  If both of you are talking at once and continually interrupt each other, then nothing will get fixed. 

3.) If the problem is a big one, then don’t try to fix the problem in just one discussion, sometimes it will take a number of discussions to fix the problem.

4.)  The discussions have to be a give and take between the parties and remember that no one will win here.  Nobody ever wins in a disagreement, compromise is the best solution.

5.) If you notice that one or both of you is getting increasingly angry or frustrated, then take a break and try your discussion later on.

Problem-solving takes these steps:

First, we define what the problem is and we have to agree upon this.  Be on the same page, otherwise you and your teenager may end up not even talking about the same thing.  Between the two of you, come up with some possible solutions.  Both of you need to be reasonable here.  Evaluate all of your solutions and come up with the best one that will work for the both of you.  Lastly, come up with a plan or course of action to the selected solution.  Solutions mean nothing if you don’t implement it and then continue to follow through.

Read more from Kara Tamanini at