- Parents often seek help in setting boundaries and expectations for behavior.
- For parents of teenagers, a frequent problem is how to improve communication so their kids will share information, especially about school.
- Parents often share that once kids hit late adolescence, suddenly kids find the opinions of their peers, and even the parents of their peers more enlightening than what they hear at home.
What are the top three goals or resolutions that families want?
- One great way to set boundaries and have rules that work is to engage your child in the setting of rules - not to say they decide the rules, but that they have some participation. In doing so there's more willingness to follow the expectation being set. If there's a breach in the expectation, make certain the consequence is immediate, and has an end point. Especially when using grounding or removing phones or other privileges, having a date for the end of the grounding, or return of the item is effective and healthy for everyone. Open ended consequences quickly lose meaning.
- Kids often report that their parents are always bugging them for too much information about their lives. Remember, they are trying to spread their wings, and just because they seem to be less excited to share every detail doesn't mean they are trying to shut out parental involvement. It's a natural part of development, and in most cases as the late teens hit, communication flow picks up again.
- The age old story of a teenager excitedly sharing a remarkable comment made by someone outside the family, when you are confident you've said the exact same thing, is commonplace. It doesn't always happen, but most of us experience it at some time raising a teenager. Remember Charlie Brown and "wah wah wah" being the only audible comments adults made? Tuning out has been around a long time! If you've guided your kids to develop core values, this stage usually subsides and they will once again be seeking the wise advice of their parents!