Getting your teen to behave well at home

Parenting expert and author Michael Riera, PhD, shares advice for parents on ways that they can help get their teen to behave better at home
Advice For Parenting Teens | How To Get Your Teen To Behave Well At Home | Kids in the House
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Getting your teen to behave well at home

Many parents want to know how their kids can be kind and courteous around the house. They hear all these great things from the parents of their friends about how nice they are at their house but yet they don't see it in their own home. One of the things to understand is it's a backhanded compliment. Teenagers when they are out there in the world, is very self conscious. They've developed abstract thinking. They are hyper aware of how people are seeing them. This is exhausting. It is really exhausting. So when they come home, they let all that guard down and they regress to sort of that seven year old that hasn't had enough to eat and hasn't had enough sleep. That's what you get. You get the whining. You get the snapping. You get the yelling. So a couple of things to bear in mind. Some are practical and some are more theoretical. Practical, make sure they've got enough food. When they come home after school they are going to be hungry. Every teenager is hungry. Have some food out for them. When we don't have enough food in us we get angry, we get surly in different way. So you want to have food there for them. That allows the blood sugar level to come back to normal. You also want to understand as a family, what's important to you? What is really important. I happen to think, in our family we believe how we treat one another is really important. So when these things happen, this is when we need to call time out. Stop. Have a family meeting. Sit down. Talk with one another. Not scream at one another, because screaming will not work. So often when it happens in the moment, you have to walk away. Come back later and have the conversation. How we treat one another matters. It's very important. We can get upset with one another. We can have differences of opinion. We can even get angry. We need to watch our words. We're a family for life, so we need to figure out how to do this. The third thing you have to do is look in the mirror. How do you treat your kids? How do you treat one another? If you get angry at one another, if your language goes a little less than you'd be proud of to have your minister hear the language you're using at home, then you probably need to change that. Because the other thing about teenagers is that they are incredible mirrors. They show back exactly what they're seeing from us. That's actually the place I suggest parents start, is looking at the mirror at their own behaviour and what it is they're modeling for their kids.

Parenting expert and author Michael Riera, PhD, shares advice for parents on ways that they can help get their teen to behave better at home


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Michael Riera, PhD

Head Of School, Brentwood School

Michael Riera, PhD, Educator, Author, Media Personality, and Speaker. Michael Riera is the Head of School at the Brentwood School, best-selling author, award-winning columnist, educator, television commentator, and national speaker on issues of children, adolescents, families, and parenting. Mike is the author of Right From Wrong: instilling a Sense of integrity in Our Children, Field Guide to the American Teenager, Uncommon Sense For Parents With Teenagers, and Surviving High School. His most recent book, Staying Connected To Your Teenager, was launched with three appearances on Oprah! For eight years he was the Family Consultant for CBS The Saturday Morning Early Show and also hosted an award winning television show on the Oxygen Network, Life in Progress, as well as his own daily radio show, Family Talk with Dr. Mike. Mike has worked in schools for over 20 years as a head of school, counselor, dean of students, teacher and consultant. 

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