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!

6 Soft Skills for Every Teen

6 Soft Skills for Every Teen

As the school year revs its engine, it’s easy to get caught up in the hard skills that students need to succeed academically, like STEAM and language skills. But especially after two years of quarantines and unorthodox school routines, it’s also important to hone in on soft skills that will help teens succeed socially.


What are soft skills?

Hard skills are measurable skills related to a specific task. Your ability to use a certain kind of software or diagnose a disease are hard skills. They will get you a job.

Soft skills are a group of abilities that allow a person to be more productive in every aspect of their lives: skills like empathy, self-control, and grit. Soft skills will get you promoted.

Just like academic skills, soft skills, especially social ones, build on themselves over time. Don’t try to cram them all into one conversation. But look for opportunities to model and teach good habits like these that will point your teenager toward long-term success in school, in business, and in life.


Here are 6 lessons that every student can benefit from.

  • A handshake and a smile go a long way.
    I didn’t learn this until I went to college, where I was fortunately surrounded by others who had learned and showed me the way. I’m sure you’ve experienced this too, but I’m often surprised at how quickly a situation can go from awkward to fun when I offer my hand and introduce myself.
  • Limit the time you spend on people who bring more drama than joy to your life.
    It’s not that things don’t happen or that you shouldn’t support your friends. But if you find yourself constantly trying to figure out why your friend is mad at you or how you can make reparations, reconsider the amount of time you have to dedicate to that friend.
  • “You don’t make friends. You find friends.” Dr. Lisa Damour
    This one is two-fold. If you are busy finding friends, you don’t have as much time to worry about whether or not you’ll be left out. Also, find the people who inspire you. Hopefully, they will help you become your best version of yourself too.
  • Don’t be afraid to fail. It’s a valid step on the path to success.
    As a recovering perfectionist, I fail at this regularly. However, I vividly remember a conversation with my dad during the college selection process, which rendered me a nervous wreck, where he told me it was ok to choose one and decide later it wasn’t for me. I can’t tell you how much better that made me feel. Sometimes we all need a reminder.
  • Ask for help when you need it.
    More people are willing to help you than you think; everyone needs help sometimes! When we learn to ask for help, we build relationships and emotional support, too. It even makes it easier for others to ask for help when they see it modeled for them. It’s a win-win-win.
  • Make eating healthy and sleep priorities. There’s no substitute for good health.
    There are countless studies on this one. Lack of sleep hinders your ability to make good choices, remember things, drive a car, and so much more. You cannot replace sleep with caffeine, good hydration, exercise, or pills. There is no substitute.

Of course, there are many other soft skills that we hope your teen is learning! Time management, healthy screen habits, and managing emotions are a few that come to mind.

Be sure to tell us in the comments which soft skills you have benefitted the most from! Which ones are you teaching your teenagers?

Kelly Fann

Kelly Fann

Digital Media Manager

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Moving in the Right Direction

Moving in the Right Direction

Moving is the worst. It’s stressful, expensive and downright exhausting!

My husband and I just moved into a new house. We have spent months planning, looking for the perfect home, packing and finally moving. Now that we are in our new home, I have a chance to catch my breath and reflect on the moving process.

As much as I dislike moving, there are some great benefits to going through a big move. Benefits that can even be applied to real life! While I hope to stay in this house for quite a while to avoid another move, I plan on using this experience to purge and clean up my own life.

With this move in mind, here are 5 simple ways to start moving your life (and the lives of teenagers) in the right direction:

Plan ahead.

A move would not be successful if you decided to throw everything together last minute. The same goes for life! Plan ahead, set goals, and think before acting.

Not every part of life can be planned or controlled. Most of life is made up of unexpected moments and uncontrollable circumstances. But it is important to set goals for where you want your life to go.

It is hard to make a move in the right direction if you don’t know where you’re headed!

In all of our support groups, we ask students to share where there lives are now and make a goal for where they would like to be in the future. These don’t have to be big goals; in fact, we encourage small, simple things at first. Maybe it is getting a few extra hours of sleep, having a more respectful attitude towards adults, or replacing a bad habit with a better coping skill.

Write down a plan. Be willing to be flexible, but don’t compromise on your goals!


Get rid of clutter.

We had so much to move…lots of boxes, décor, clothes, and more! But before we started packing, I took the extra time to purge clutter and items that I knew we wouldn’t use in the new house.

This was time-consuming and frustrating, but now that we are in the new house, I am so glad that I got rid of the clutter! I was not interested in moving broken, old, or useless things in this new home, which gave me a better chance to start fresh.

We have clutter in our lives that we need to get rid of before we start moving to the place we want to be. Clutter could include something like a bad habit, or clutter could also be something good that is taking up too much time or space.

The best way to get rid of clutter is to list the things that take up our time and energy. Once this list is complete, ask yourself, “What are the things that I dislike doing? What are the things that I could get rid of?”

Not all clutter is bad. But it is important to free up space in your life for the things that help you reach your goals!


Before you make a big move, start cleaning.

Total transparency – I learned this lesson by doing the opposite. Before we moved, I thought, “Why clean when we are about to move anyway? It’s silly to clean, pack, and then clean again!”

Wrong, Wrong, Wrong.

When we moved, our furniture was dusty and the rugs were gross. Instead of being smart and saving energy on the front end, I created more work for myself and brought dirt from our old house into this new home.

It is hard to have a clean start when you are bringing dirt and mess from your past.

Similar to removing clutter, it is so much better to clean up your life before trying to make a big life move.

Clean up your language, your time management skills, any grudges you are holding on to, or the way you handle stress. It is so much easier to move in the right direction when you know that you aren’t bringing dust from past experiences.


Surround yourself with the right people.

There is no way we could have made this move without friends and family. They helped us pack, gave us advice, and even gave up a Saturday afternoon to make sure we were moved into our new house. I can’t imagine how much more stressful this situation could have been if we did not have the right people around us encouraging us the whole time.

The same is true in life.

Connection and relationship are vital to success, especially when you are trying to tackle something new and big. When trying to reach a goal or make a life change, don’t do it alone! Reach out to those around you for support and encouragement.

According to the CDC, teenagers who feel connected are less likely to engage in risky behaviors and more likely to have higher grades and better attendance at school. That is no coincidence! Positive, life-giving people make all the difference.


Relax and celebrate the small accomplishments.

I am still telling myself this as I stare at the mountain of boxes and stacks of things to be put away around my house. It is so easy to get overwhelmed when going through a big move. You see a To-Do list a mile long and often don’t take the time to properly celebrate how far you have already come. Last night, we unpacked the study. It is one small room, but it is an accomplishment that doesn’t need to be overlooked!

Especially with students and teenagers, we need to celebrate the small accomplishments when they happen – this encourages continued growth and forward motion.

So maybe they haven’t made straight A’s yet, but celebrate that they passed their last test! Do they still have an anger problem? Celebrate when they handle one situation in a healthy way. Give them credit for helping out around the house even if their room isn’t completely spotless.

Celebrate the little moments. This doesn’t mean that you have to throw a party or lower your expectations but stop for a reward when you make steps toward your goal. Go out to your favorite restaurant. Spend a fun weekend with friends or relax in the bathtub. Take the time to be proud of the progress you are making.


Moving houses or moving directions in life can be frustrating, overwhelming and simply not fun. But let’s encourage each other to continue to move in the right direction toward a healthier place!

Karlie Duke

Karlie Duke

Director of Communications

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