In your parent teenager relationship, where your teenager is so affected by what you say and do, the words “yes” and “no” are so influential in impacting their perception of self, others and the world around them.
I daresay that the word “no” is far more frequently expressed in the parent teenager relationship, compared to all other relationships.
Supposing a survey were to be carried out where parents of teenagers were asked which word; “Yes” or “no” they used more frequently. What would you expect the results to show? Given that so many youth today, lack self confidence, I would guess that the word “no” is more commonly used. The chances are that so many teenagers are so used to hearing the word “no” in their parent teenager relationship that it is extremely difficult for them to expand their world beyond self.
Don’t misunderstand me. Saying “no” is not a dirty word. Sometimes it its necessary and best to simply say “no” to your teenager. However if your communication with your teenager contains the word “no” on such a regular basis, this will make it extremely hard for them to develop self belief and live with hope. This will be particularly telling when a crisis strikes.
I want to present five (5) alternatives to saying “no” in your parent teenager relationship, according to Elaine Mazlish and Adele Faber.
1. Give Information And Leave Out The “No”.
For example, your teenager asks if they can attend a live concert the night before a big exam. Instead of saying “no” you can give the facts such as “you need at least 8 hours of good sleep to be prepared for your exam” also “in the past you always did better when you studied the night before”. Your teenager may well conclude “I suppose I shouldn’t go”.
2. Acknowledge Feelings.
For example, you are picking up your teenager at a party at curfew time. She wants to stay for at least another hour. You might say “I know that if you were making the decision alone you would be staying back”. As you speak, you push open the car door for your teenager to come in.
3. Describe The Problem.
For example, your teenager comes to you requesting a lift, right away to the train station. As an alternative to simply saying a flat “no”, you could say; “Look, I am very happy to take you but I am expecting an important visitor any time now”.
4. Substituting a “Yes” For A “No”.
For instance, your teen is with you and the rest of the family at the dinner table and asks; “Do you mind if I call my friend?” You could reply by saying; “Yes. You can call her after dinner”.
5. Give Yourself Time To Think.
For example, your teenager wants to sleep over at their friends place and you know that your daughter’s friend will most likely be drinking alcohol. You might reply by saying; “Let me think a bit about it”.
This approach to saying a flat “no” does two things. One, it diffuses your daughter’s intensity. Two, it buys you time to process your feelings and thoughts.
Saying “no” to your teen is easy and quick. Sometimes it is the best response. However if you consider the emotional and psychological development of your teen, coming up with alternatives to constantly using the word “no”, will reap healthy dividends.
Is being a parent to your teen frustrating and wearing you out? Are your parenting methods falling on deaf ears? Do you know in yourinnerself that there must be a better way? If this describes you, grab a hold of parenting expert, Paul Saver’s seven FREE parenting videos. Each videohas been prepared to transform your parent teen relationship. Just click on the link.
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