5 Positive Ways to Deal with Parents

5 Positive Ways to Deal with Parents

We see a lot of teens in Support Groups and if there’s a recurring theme, it’s that dealing with parents can be tough!

The crazy thing is the same issues that frustrate teens often frustrate adults. Life is completely different for teens than it was for adults at the same age, but there are a lot of aspects of communication that haven’t changed.

If you are a parent, it can be hard to see your teen’s side of things or how they are trying to communicate.

Parents and teachers complain most often about behavior, but a lot of times, the adults aren’t listening or allowing teens to explain.

If you are a teen here are some tips if you’re having trouble communicating with your parent(s).

Wait for the right time.

This may be difficult depending on how much your parent works or other factors. But it will come. Sometimes you can help make it the right time. Get them their favorite treat, drink, or sit and watch their favorite show with them. The effort you put in will be worth it when the result is a positive conversation.

Do things before you are asked.

This one isn’t immediately appealing because you are still doing what they want. BUT if you get annoyed because they bug you to mow the lawn or clean your room, it is worth it. If you do it before they ask, it saves you the hassle of an annoying argument or fight. You both win.

Don’t push their buttons.

Facts. If you know how to annoy the adults in your life in under five minutes, it just shows how close you are. However, it doesn’t mean you are in control. You might feel like you’re in control, but it’s guaranteed to cause you more losses than wins. Instead, take that knowledge and use it to get what you really want. Better communication.

Don’t let them push yours.

Fun fact. The adults in your life know how to push your buttons too. You get to decide if you will allow it or not. You can choose not to be annoyed- or at least not to act on it. While it’s true that adults should, well, be adults, we all know that sometimes that just doesn’t happen. But if you don’t let it stress you out, you’re guaranteed to feel better.

Think ahead.

Recognize potential hazards and plan ahead what you can say or do when they come along. Or even better, avoid them if you can. This is hard. You might need a trusted adult like a school counselor or another trusted adult to help you talk this one out.

Also note: this doesn’t not apply to situations where an adult is harming you or failing to keep you safe. If you are not safe at home, or with any adult, you need to tell someone you trust and get help. It’s not on you to avoid abuse.

You can’t keep every argument from happening and not all parents are always reasonable. But most parents want a good relationship with their kids. They want to understand and communicate better.

Maybe this will help.

 

What are other ways you can deal with parents in a positive way?

Teen Say

How can I get the adults in my life to care and not lecture?

  • Be intentional about when you talk to them- especially when you bring up tough topics. A lot of time, their emotional state or reaction isn’t about you! It’s about other things that you might not be aware of.
  • If needed, ask someone to mediate a conversation between you and the adult that you feel frustrated with.

Adults Say

How can I connect with teens and get them to open up to me?

  • Be available
  • Be yourself
  • Connect during the good times so you have that background during hard conversations. Look for ways to just have fun with no agenda!

Ep. 100: Top Teen Things

Ep. 100: Top Teen Things

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Summary:
Sarah Brooks and Tobin Hodges join Chris and Karlie for a celebratory 100th episode! There’s a lot to get excited about in this fun, information-packed episode. Be sure to check out the TV shows and movies that may or may not reveal important details about our team. Listen for entertaining flashbacks and insightful tips on modern teens.

In this episode, we mentioned the following resources:

Have a question? If you have a question about something you heard or just want to give us some feedback, please leave us a comment below.  We would love to hear from you!
About Us:
Chris Robey

Chris Robey

CEO

Chris has worked with teens from a variety of backgrounds for over a decade. He has a desire to help teenagers make good choices while also giving their families tools to communicate more effectively as choices are made.

Karlie Duke

Karlie Duke

Director of Communications

Karlie was in one of Teen Life’s original support groups and has always had a heart for teenagers and the vulnerable life stage they are in. She has a wealth of experience to share from working with teens in ministry and leading support groups.

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Ep. 36: Christmas Traditions

Ep. 36: Christmas Traditions

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Summary:
What are your favorite Christmas traditions? Especially during the holidays, family traditions come to the forefront and every family is different. In episode 36, Chris and Karlie talk common Christmas traditions like matching pjs, movies to watch, and funny fails. Listen for fun ways to celebrate the holidays and get new ideas on how to make the most of your time together.

Have a question? If you have a question about something you heard or just want to give us some feedback, please leave us a comment below.  We would love to hear from you!
About Us:
Chris Robey

Chris Robey

CEO

Chris has worked with teens from a variety of backgrounds for over a decade. He has a desire to help teenagers make good choices while also giving their families tools to communicate more effectively as choices are made.
Karlie Duke

Karlie Duke

Director of Communications

Karlie was in one of Teen Life’s original support groups and now is passionate about encouraging students to live better stories. She has gained experience working with teenagers through work, volunteer, and personal opportunities.

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The Science of Play. The Art of Fun.

The Science of Play. The Art of Fun.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how much fun have you had this week? How many times have you felt completely free and completely alive?

I’ve recently been listening to the Happiness Lab podcast with Yale professor Dr. Laurie Santos. Dr. Santos is most known for the most highly-attended class at Yale, entitled The Science of Well-Being. That’s a fancy course name for “How to Be Happier.” What’s not to love about that?

In a recent episode of her podcast, Dr. Santos joined a research project on how to have more fun, led by Catherine Price, author of The Power Of Fun: How To Feel Alive Again. Catherine Price describes having fun as being “engaged, focused, connected, and completely present.”

It’s not scrolling or checking notifications, zoning out or vegging on the couch. It’s laughing, twirling, soaking in life. It’s that feeling when you turn off your phone for take-off and settle in for a long flight – or is that just me?

It got me thinking about why fun matters- and how to have more of it.

 

It turns out, the science of fun is pretty interesting.

Even though everyone has their own idea of what’s fun, getting to do what we want, when we want is key. So if my mom says I have to do it a certain way, it probably doesn’t count as play any more!

Sharing the activity with other people is also key! When most people recall fun experiences, they are usually with other people. Introverts included. In the last year, we’ve all seen the negative effects of isolation. It stands to reason that the reverse is true. When we have fun together, we reap benefits too.

Physically, when we’re having fun, we get a hit of dopamine, the same feel-good hormone we get when we’re eating our favorite food, being rewarded or falling in love.

And when we get large hits of dopamine, we also lose track of time. If you’re thinking “time flies when you’re having fun,” it turns out it kind of does! Yasemin Saplakoglu writes for LiveScience.com about the research of Joe Paton, a neuroscientist at the Champalimaud Foundation:
“When you’re having fun, [brain] cells are more active, they release a lot of dopamine and your brain judges that less time has passed than actually has. When you’re not having fun, these cells don’t release as much dopamine, and time seems to slow down.”

Not only do we gain a lot of benefits from taking time to play, but when we don’t there are negative side effects too.

Depression, anxiety, and irritability are all symptoms of a lack of play, according to Dr. Stuart Brown, the former chief of Psychiatry at Mercy Hospital and Medical Center in San Diego and author of the book Play: How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul (Avery, 2009).

There’s even research that suggests that having fun increases productivity and reduces burnout. It reduces stress and balances hormones. It’s the spoonful of sugar AND the medicine!

 

So basically to sum it up…

FUN:
  • Strengthens relationships
  • Makes time fly
  • Decreases depression and anxiety
  • Increases productivity and reduces burnout
  • Makes us healthier

Fun creates bonds and builds resilience, in ourselves and in our families. It makes us better parents, friends, teachers, colleagues. It can actually make us healthier, happier people. And when we do go back to work, because accomplishing goals is awesome too, it helps us be more creative problem solvers and more productive.

That’s great. But I’m busy, you say. I don’t have time to do more. So how do I have more fun?

 

I’m glad you asked! Here are a few ideas to consider:

    1. Try noticing one delightful thing every day.
      Start small. Look for something that makes you smile – or laugh! – and dwell on it, journal it, revel in it for just a moment. For me, I am ridiculously overjoyed by lizard sightings, butterflies, or the way my kids say “afore” instead of “before”. Or the fact that my youngest is suddenly insisting that everyone give him “two blue Easter eggs” for his birthday in February.
    2. Invest time in a hobby.
      Reading, crossword puzzles, painting, pickup basketball games. It might feel like skipping school at first, but research shows that it will make you more efficient and more productive when you return to work.
    3. Plan a family “yes day.”
      Watch the movie Yes Day on Netflix if you don’t know what a yes day is! Pick a day and treat it like a stay-cation. Everyone gets a say in what you do and everyone’s all-in. Remember, having fun together strengthens your bond and increases resilience in your kids.
    4. Have regular family date nights.
      Put everyone’s phone away and go bowling or play games. (We’ve got some game ideas here.) Make sure that everyone gets a chance to choose the activity and don’t make it about the rules or manners. Laugh together as much as possible!
    5. Experiment with new activities.
      Take a dance class or piano lessons. But don’t be afraid to quit if you’re not having fun. Just because it’s fun for someone else, doesn’t mean you have to like it!
    6. Schedule free time into your family’s calendar.
      It takes intentionality to keep the family calendar from looking like a war plan. But just like well-visits and teeth cleanings, everyone needs unscheduled free play every now and again.

     

  1. It turns out, fun is as important for your health as eating healthy, drinking enough water or exercising. And if you don’t believe me, just do a quick Google search and you’ll find a lot more research to prove it! So, take the scenic route, stop to smell the roses, play a little PacMan. It’s worth every second.

 

  1. And if you have more ideas on easy ways to incorporate fun into your day, drop us a note in the comments!
Kelly Fann

Kelly Fann

Marketing Specialist

Kelly has lived in three countries and worked with teens from all different walks of life, encouraging them to pursue their passions and to be kind.