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How do you stay close to your teenager when all you want to do is scream!

How do you stay close to your teenager when all you want to do is scream! by
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1) I always remember the saying that God gives me the courage to change the things I can, gives me the grace to accept the things I cannot and the wisdom to see the difference. I think that this applies to parenting a lot. We cannot change our teenager's mind about anything or make them do anything, just because we want them to. We have to accept with grace that some things we cannot change, we have to have the courage to change ourselves, and the wisdom to know the difference. Look at the situation with your teen and see how this applies. Where are you not being so graceful, trying to change things you cannot? Where are you not being courageous enough to change what you can?

2) Are you holding any judgments about your teenager that is affecting the way that you are responding to them? Look at the judgment you are holding about your teen and how you see them. How can you suspend this judgment, if just only for a day, to see what happens?

3) Ask yourself if you want to move from control to choice. In this situation you always have a choice between the two. Are you trying to control too much? What choices could you make that would be different?

4) Take note of what triggers your reactions. What is your teenager doing that is sending you into a pattern of behaviour that is not serving you? What can you set up to ensure that you are not triggered?

5) Relax, find a way that you can relax and calm yourself in each situation, for example, breathing or just touching your heart, things to remind you that you are at choice in your reactions.

6) Make a decision to look at your child in another way. Ask how you want to see them and choose to see them like that in all situations, including the challenging ones.

7) Don't focus on the poor choices they have made and what may happen in the future. Instead, focus on what is present in front of you now.

8) Centre yourself before you start any communication. Before you start any communication with your teen get calm yourself and ask what you want from this conversation.

9) See what you can learn from each situation with them. Instead of seeing each situation as challenging, ask yourself what you have learned from this.

10) Focus on their strengths rather than their weaknesses.

11) Get clear on your bottom line in situations and be willing to state what is true for you. In others words, get clear what is and is not OK for you as their parent and make sure they are clear about this.

12) Ignore hurtful comments; you will get more satisfaction from not reacting to them and staying calm.

13) Look at how you have more personal control, rather than control over your son or daughter. How can you manage yourself more in these situations?

14) Remember that your job is to fix the relationship and concentrate on that over the behaviour. It is the relationship that needs fixing, not your teen or their behaviour. What can you do to fix the relationship?

15) Do not focus on the way things have been, focus on the way you want them to be.

16) Have it be OK that your teen may have a different value set than you and that they may choose to reject yours.

17) Take a look at the situation from their point of view. It may have been a while since you were a teen and life looks very different through their eyes.

18) Remember, our teens challenge us in this way at home because it's a safe environment for them. Whilst it might seem backhanded, it IS a compliment.

Sarah Newton is a world leading authority on how to connect, engage and motivate young people. An author, speaker, consultant and media expert she has shared her wisdom with millions who have tuned into her TV and Radio Shows, followed her writing and listen to her thought provoking talks. She has been featured on most UK TV channels, hosted her own TV series and been involved with campaigns for such companies as MTV and the BBC and has sat on future thought panels for TV Companies. Hailed as "The Supernanny for Teens" by TV Times

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