Thursday, June 4, 2020


NOT TRUE!  ['just live with it']
Far too many people accept the false wisdom that that's just the way teenagers are. You can’t do anything about it – you just have to live with it. WRONG!
With a relatively small ‘pivot’ – you can easily and substantially change the situation, your home life and your teenager’s life!

Pivoted steps:
1.      Don’t argue
2.      ASK, DON’T TELL
3.      Develop a mindset in which you
            (a) listen,
            (b) laugh gently, if appropriate – OR show no emotion nor facial expression;
            (c) ASK, gently, “I’m not sure I follow – tell me more about why you think that.”

4.      USE that information to more wisely reply and DISCUSS your reasoning and needed decision.
5.      Be comfortable in making a solid decision if and as needed – remembering that a consensually agreed-to decision is always easiest to enforce – because they had buy-in to it!
6.      EMPHASIZE that you are REALLY trying to listen and understand – but that your ultimate concern is their safety and life, even if it’s a painful decision.
7.      Define consequences of breaking this rule in your mind BEFORE the conversation begins.
8.      If the decision or rule is broken, YOU MUST enforce it!  If you don’t, they will see you as weak.
9.      If that rule is broken again, administer predefined MORE STRENUOUS consequences

Be EXTREMELY CONSCIOUS and aware: with all the freedoms teens have, the more authoritative and domineering the atmosphere you create, the more defiant they will be.

AND IN OUR NEXT EPISODE, we’ll discuss the most frequent or aggravating things your teen does or doesn’t do:  Laziness;  Homework/ schoolwork;  Screen time/ games;  Unpleasant, possibly nasty;  Messy bedroom;  Clothes strewn around bedroom, not put away,

Friday, May 29, 2020

Dear Mom or Dad,

Dear Mom or Dad,
"If you always have the answer, you don't.  You can best help me to grow and 'become' by listening - listening to my thoughts, ideas, struggles- and NOT jump in and tell me what I should do.  That gives me a far better chance to become the me you’d hope for. We learned in school that the most powerful communication tool and skill is to listen...
Love you, 
Your kid"

Tuesday, May 19, 2020


Gotcha, didn’t I?  You can’t wait to argue, debunk, reject such blarney!!!
Read further!

Humans are naturally achievers.  THAT’S SCIENTIFIC FACT.

So when someone acts like or even describes themselves as lazy, there’s a reason. 

For teenagers, it may be attention-seeking behavior!!  [it happens!] 

The more probable answers: they may just be TIRED.  They’re going through immense physiological changes – their bodies are literally growing – and that takes energy.  It’s much like a surgical patient recovering in the hospital, not allowed to go home yet – their body is rebuilding.

Avoidance or procrastination [almost the same thing but not quite] – is basically FEAR.  It occurs because
(o) “they don’t know how” [to perform or complete the task] – and they may be ashamed to admit it, or
(o) there’s some other fear-like reaction going on inside their head.

In some people – adults and teens, there is actually a FEAR of SUCCESS – which shows itself as laziness, procrastination or avoidance.

Might there be deep-seated psychological issues? Yes – but not as often as you might think. And if there are, the solutions are pretty much the same ones listed here.

And, there may be several other causes going on – but simply labeling it as laziness evades the question, the issue, the cause.

Bottom line? Laziness is a defense mechanism – they’re hiding something – even though they may not consciously realize or understand that they’re doing it!

What to do?  Use patience, empathy, support, GENTLE encouragement, DON’T MAKE A BIG ISSUE of it.  The bigger you make it, the more defensive they’ll become. In reacting – show no emotion. 

And when you see “movement,” progress, got off the couch or whatever, – what BF Skinner called ‘successive approximations’ – compliment that action or movement - without making it a HUGE thing.

And as always with teenagers – stay the course and ‘soldier on’ – with faith in your heart and a thick skin!