Managing the daily battles with your teen

Watch Michael J. Bradley, EdD's video on Managing the daily battles with your teen...
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Managing the daily battles with your teen

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Communicating with the teenagers based on something called, "empathy." What is empathy? It's not asking "if" what your kids says make sense, but rather, "how" what she says makes sense to her. All too often, we go in and cut off our kids as they begin to talk, because they want to do something crazy, like go to the beer party at age 14. Rather, ask the kid to explain why she wants to do that? And, as weird as it sounds, affirm what she tells you. If she says, "Well, everybody's going. All the popular kids do this. I'll look really geeky if I don't go." I know it feels terrible to you, Mom and Dad, but agree with her. So you know, something like, "I understand that. I get it. I hear that. And, it will be tough for you not to go. I hear that you want to go to maintain these friends." Allow her to talk. Ultimately, you tell her she can't go. But, you're showing a respect for her by affirming, acknowledging what she says. Some specific techniques: (1) Be sure you chat with your kid everyday. In a non-judgmental, non-business way. Time of day works best: midnight. Cars work well. Coffee shops work well; (2) Frame your questions. Don't go in and say, "How was your day?" That makes them crazy. That' s a weird adult question. Say, "Tell me something good that happened today to you. Tell me something that was bad, that sucked that happened today to you." Get in the habit of them hearing your voice when there is no issue, there's no business thing going on, so they get used to it. Too often, we only start to talk to our kids when there's a problem and your voice will sound like a smoke detector. "Oh my God! What's happening now?" And, they shut down.

Watch Michael J. Bradley, EdD's video on Managing the daily battles with your teen...

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Michael J. Bradley, EdD

Psychologist, Author & Speaker

Michael J. Bradley, EdD, award-winning author, has counseled adolescents and their parents for over 30 years and currently has a private practice in suburban Philadelphia. As a recognized specialist in adolescent behavior and parenting, Dr. Bradley is in demand as a speaker and facilitator for mental health professionals, educators, and parenting groups. He has appeared on over 400 radio and television shows, including CNN, The Today Show and Good Morning, America, and has been interviewed by numerous magazines and newspapers such as USA Today, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and Parents Magazine. His website forum is a great source of advice and encouragement to parents.

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