You already know about the power of positive parenting, but what about with your teenager? Vicki, I think we've both heard this from parents that we've worked with, when their teenager is a little out of control or giving them some challenges. And they say something like, “This is not my kid.” And they are right. It's not their child. It's their teenager. They're different creatures. It's a new day. Teenagers are very sensitive to control. And that's one reason that our model focuses on control and maturity. And the interplay between those If you're not sure what we're talking about there, go to the video on this channel called the Teaching Kids Responsibility. And we give an overview of it. Or you can get it in the Parenting Power-Up which you can find in the products tab of

Teens go through a very similar developmental task that toddlers do. In fact, think about a two-year-old for a minute. I want to do it myself. This autonomy. I want to have control over my own life. And yet they are so vulnerable and they still need you so much. Teenagers are in the same boat. But, they don't want to see that. They need you. They want to see that they are completely independent. And they'll even say that. “I don't need you. I'm independent.” Behind the facade, they know they still need you. Use this is to your advantage. So, stay calm, remember what I have talked about before, calm voice, calm face, calm body. That's all part of the positive parenting approach. This is particularly important with teenagers because of the sensitivity that they have to those control issues. They want to have more control. And actually, we want them to have more control. Remember, the whole idea is for us to get them to that point from cooperation into taking on the initiative and having more control of their life. And we want to get to the point where we're on a more consultant basis with them. So, the roles are transition, the roles are kind of flip flopping. I think one of the parts that are kind of scary for us as parents, to give up some of that control.

Realize that our teens are going to have to make bigger decisions. With that, comes kind of this need or this knee-jerk reaction to protect our child from any failure. We've been addressing this all along but it feels so much bigger when they're teens, because the cost went up. When they are little the cost is smaller. As a parent of a teenager, you're like, “Oh, I don't know if I dare let him make this mistake. This could really affect their future.” Pause for a moment. Let them? Really? Like you have that kind of power. Honestly, I had a mom say that to me in my office, “Well, am I just supposed to let him fail?” What do you mean let him? Like it's up to you? See, if it were up to you as a parent, you get all controlling, you'd get all micromanaging and you'd make sure that he doesn't fail. Right? Back off from that control just enough to acknowledge the teens’ autonomy, acknowledge their control over their own life. And detach yourself from the outcome enough that we can see, “You know what? It would probably be a great learning experience for my teenager to fail in this.” The price tag, I guarantee, is going to go up as an adult for that same type of failure. When do you want him to learn it? Remember, later is more expensive. Now is good. This changes your position as a parent too because you can back off.

Which leads to the next point that I think is so important. This is a time of life when teenagers are learning the direct correlation between their behavior and their outcomes. It's a cause-and-effect thing. Now, they already know it but they don't know it fully. Because you have been… shall we say buffering or softening some of the consequences all this time. They live in this beautiful home that they can't afford. They have clothes they can't afford. They have good food, and that's okay. It's because you're a benevolent, generous, loving parent. Look at all of this abundance that you're willing to share with your kids even though they can't afford it. We have to transition them as they move out into the real world. They don't get all of that stuff for free.

Check out the psychology here of how we go about teaching this correlation. If you are yelling and screaming, and I'm a teenager, my life is experiencing a little pinch because of some choices that I made and I'm getting consequences. But, I don't know that yet. I haven't made that connection. “I'm feeling a pinch. I wonder what's causing my life to be miserable right now?” And I look around. And there's mom or dad out of control, angry, yelling. Whoa! I live with crazy people who are control freaks. That is where their mind goes. Now, what if they're feeling the pinch and it's like, “Oh, I'm feeling a pinch. My life's not as happy as I want it to be right now and I look around, if mom's cool and dad's cool, wait a minute… Could it be me?” “Could it possibly be…” See, we want him to make that connection. And so, this is why it is so important to be in a mode of positive parenting where you get to have a calm voice, calm face, calm body and you have a little smile on your face.

You know that your job is to love them when? No matter what and even if. That doesn't change because your child became a crazy teenager. That is still your job. And coming from that position, you helped to remove one of the primary distractions the teenagers feel as they are trying to hook up cause and effect for their own life. You are still the parent. Even when they're teenager and as Vicki and I are learning now even when they are adults. You still get to be the parent and to have authority as a parent, two things are important to have in place. You need to be seen as a provider of good times and good things and still be able to set and enforce appropriate limits. The way you do that with the teenager is a little different than the way you do that with a younger child. Because of their size, their stature. So, we have to focus on what we can control.

I recently read a quote and it went something like this, “Be sure to listen anytime your child wants to tell you the little things. Because if you don't listen when they are little things, they are not going to tell you the big things because to them they were big things all along.” They're all big things. When they're teenagers, everything is so important. And so big and so huge and self comes first. It is really important to keep listening to them even though you are thinking you know, “He's going to be on a whole new thing in a minute.” You know, which is very possible, but make sure that you are listening to them on all of the things that may seem little to us because to them everything is big.

Thank you for being the conscious positive parents that you are. I love this community of positive parents. If you need help with your teenager, you can schedule a call with one of our Live On Purpose Coaches at