If you are in the thick of raising teenagers, you need all the help you can get. Dr. Phil is one great, straight-shooting, no nonsense resource. Here is a round-up of some of his best advice.
- Act Like A Parent. Dr. Phil is a constant advocate for being a parent first and foremost. He does not subscribe to the notion our teenagers should be our friends.
- Take Care of Yourself. Just remember you cannot be what your teen needs if you do not have anything to give them. Go to the gym, take a poetry class, or whatever helps you relax but fill your well so you have the energy and clarity to deal with your troubled teen.
- Improve Communication. No matter what your teen’s issues, you are never going to go wrong improving communication. Communication will take time and depending on the depth of your teen’s issues, you may not have the luxury of time but try anyway.
- Seek Help. Sometimes as parents we hold on too tightly. By taking a step back and asking family members, clergy members, or even a trusted friend to offer their perspective can be just what Dr. Phil would order.
- What’s Causing The Caustic Attitude. Sometimes, taking the time to look for the underlying issues which are contributing to your teen’s behavior helps solve their issues faster. Ask yourself: What happened right before my teen changed?
- A History Lesson. Take an honest look at your teen’s early years. If there were trying issues, they may just now be responding to that pain. Typically trauma at a young age does not manifest until the teen years because young children do not know how to respond. Most teenagers do not know how to respond any other way than acting out but they are more capable than their younger selves.
- Knowing When And How To Act. After you have looked at underlying issues and early childhood trauma, you have to decide what level of intervention is necessary. Not every scenario needs professional treatment but the ones which do will not get better without it.
- Compromise. Now is not the time for a full-on power struggle. Knowing how and when to compromise, will help you steer your teen’s recovery.
- Rolling Eyes? Roll on! Dr. Phil says there is a direct relationship with how much you and your teens talk and the amount of trouble they get into. Talking to your teens is not a perfect guarantee but it does help.
- Be A Kid Too. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in being a parent and doing the right thing that you forget to connect with your teen on their level and in their world. If you cannot remember the last time you and your teen had fun together it’s at least six months too long.
And, if you need more than these ten tips it is absolutely time to seek professional treatment.