Monday, November 25, 2019


A WEEK AGO, we posted a blog about ‘reversing your paradigm:’ - that is, when your teen defies you, surprise them by using a different approach.  Today, we have some suggested replies.  Use them as YOU prefer, or adapt to your family’s culture.

OF COURSE, these are based around the premise that you’ve already had heart-to-heart conversations and respected your teen’s time and issues – yet they still defy your requests.  

“Please take the trash out”
·         NO REPLY or says “no.”
1.      OK, I’ll do it [take only your own, not theirs]
2.      Say nothing, do nothing.
3.      Next request or issue from them: SAY NOTHING, DO NOTHING, IGNORE.
4.      [you could always dump the trash in their room – but that would be tacky L ]

“Please get up, to get to school on time”
·         NO REPLY or says “no.”
1.      OK, I’ll send a note to the principal explaining that you’re now on your own – I take no responsibility – nor will I feed you, you have no access to OUR food, you have no transportation – no rides, no allowance…”
2.      Do not reply at all – when they finally arise, no breakfast nor food available, no ride to school, etc.
3.      Say nothing, do nothing.

“Please empty the dishwasher”
·         NO REPLY or says “no.”
·         Separate his/her dishes, leave – uncleaned –on counter or even back porch/ deck
·         [use, select any one of the replies above – or be even more creative!]

“Please put the game controller away and start studying…”                 
·         NO REPLY or says “no.”
1.      Cut off all cable or WI-FI or electricity to the controller
2.      [use, select any one of the replies above – or be even more creative!]

OF COURSE all of these rely on your strength and emotional capacity.

Please don’t retreat to “I could never do that to my kid.” They respect strength – and if they continue to ‘walk all over you’ – it will only get worse. L

Please feel free to add, insert or modify your own – and post here!

Monday, November 18, 2019


One thing learned over many years in business, education, learning and change: throwing out [or setting aside] your current way of thinking VERY often reveals whole new worlds of problem-solving possibilities.  Replacing your paradigm [the framework within which you interpret your world] can provide a totally new and very often much more effective solution to the problem at hand.

On these blog pages are MANY instances of parents expressing frustration with their teen’s behavior.  Question to those parents: Did you NOT EXPECT your teen might act that way? Really? 

It's reasonable to assume that a good many of those behaviors are consciously or unconsciously intended to arouse their parents’ anger, frustration or eyebrows, maliciously or innocently.

Why not surprise ‘em completely? Imagine replacing your USUAL response – they knew you were gonna say that – with a complete reversal?  Your teen will then have a very different challenge as to what to say or do next! 

This isn’t a WIN vs.  LOSE proposition, just a way to level the playing field. 

What do you commonly face?
“Please take the trash out -        NO REPLY or says “no.”
“Please get up so you get to school on time” -NO REPLY/"No.”
“Please empty the dishwasher”             - NO REPLY/ "No"
“Put the controller away, start studying” - NO REPLY/ "No"

How would you respond? _________________.

Check back here tomorrow for suggested answers…