Category Archives: Teenagers

OMG – I Cannot Believe That My Teenager Just Said That To Me!

Many parents express concern regarding how to best communicate with their teen and more importantly how to respond to them and the teenage “ways”. It seems that all teenagers exhibit the same symptoms! Rude at times Disrespectful at times They know it all Disregarding of almost all advice Impulsive Reactive and explosive, often over seemingly N-O-T-H-I-N-G Convoluted plans Emotional rollercoasters Do teenagers collaborate with each other on how to best deal their parents a healthy dose of “teen”? Who wrote their “How To Be A Teenager Guide” anyway? And, had I ever stopped to think that perhaps I might have… haha! The common thread seems to be this: Nothing we do as parents seems right to our teens We are losers We know nothing, they know everything They are masters in dishing out stinging, biting comments with a good dash of rudeness and disrespect As parents, we are often left reeling and thinking: “How can this child be ours?” We like to think that we had taught him / her all there is to know about manners and respect… More often than not, the answer to this is, “You did!” “So why then has our lovely child turned into this …Read more →


Last week I wrote about communicating with your teenager and the challenge it can present to parents. This week I am proposing a challenge for parents! The aha moment for many parents is realizing that their teenager no longer wants to be treated and spoken to the same way they were when they were younger but as the young adults they are slowing trying to become. The challenge for us as parents is doing this whilst our teenager continues to display the stereotypical attitudes of the teen years and we all know what they are! Respect breeds respect and we have to be the ones to role model this even if we don’t always get it in return. The Challenge I am proposing that you set yourself this challenge; to only speak respectfully to your teenager regardless of how he / she speaks to you. Perhaps you can start out with trying it for a day at a time and each day wake to remind yourself of this challenge in order for it to become habit. The Process I encourage you to have a chat with your teenager about what has motivated you to want to do this Let them …Read more →


I attended a parenting session recently and the topic of conversation was teenagers. Many parents expressed concern with the communication they have with their teenagers. It seemed that all of these teenagers were exhibiting the same symptoms! Do these guys actually collaborate with each other?! The common thread seemed to be: Nothing we do seems right to our teens We are losers We know nothing They know everything They appear inherently rude and disrespectful As parents, we are often left reeling: “How can this child be ours?” I thought that we had taught him / her all there is to know about manners and resect? More often than not, the answer to this is, “You did!” So why then has our lovely child turned into this monster? Have we ever stopped to think that how we are continuing to communicate with our teenagers might actually be contributing to the problem? There are undoubtedly many factors that influence their changing attitude, many of which I have discussed in previous blogs. Understanding your Teenager This session was spent collaborating; discussing and looking at the ways we currently deal with and react to our teenagers. We explored alternative ways to interact with and to …Read more →

Understanding your Teenager – The Action Plan

Last week I discussed the teenage brain from a scientific perspective and from a parents! This week, I have some tips for you to help you manage the relationship between you and your teenager. The relationship – what’s happening? This can be a time of great turmoil and conflict in the home. The adolescent is typically striving for independence and beginning to push away from their parents. They want more control of their lives, want to make the decisions for themselves and know all there is to know about everything! This is a time for power struggles as they dangle you the carrot or throw you the rope just waiting for you to take the bait – the game is on. I would strongly advise that you try and disengage in these moments as the fight that may follow will serve only to damage the relationship and push them away. They are transitioning from being dependent to wanting more independence. Do not be mistaken, they still need you, in fact, more than ever, they just have a funny way of showing it! What can you do? Connection         Connection        Connection……. Maintain and preserve the relationship Connect with them as much as …Read more →

Understanding your Teenager

ADOLESCENT = Adult + Essence ES.SE.N.CE – Emotional Spark, Social Engagement, Novelty, Creative Exploration Brainstorm by Daniel J. Siegel In Dan Siegel’s new book “Brainstorm”, you will find many of the answers to understanding your teenager. This book gives tremendous insight into the workings of the adolescent brain in its quest to becoming more integrated. As a parent, having this knowledge is to our advantage in helping us understand them, empathize with them and most importantly, maintain a connection with them. Siegel applies his knowledge into everyday “teenage events / occurrences” and uses case studies as examples. He really helps make sense of this age and stage. What is happening to their brains? The brain undergoes incredible changes during this time. The neural pathways are quite literally being reconstructed and, what’s referred to as, being pruned. There is also an enhanced dopamine release system that drives us to reward and satisfaction that is activated. Coupled with this, a type of behavior that Siegel refers to as hyperrationality occurs which is when the evaluation centre in the brain downplays or deemphasizes the negative side of things (cons) and overplays the positive (pros) resulting in an increased reward drive focus of the brain. …Read more →