Teen Relations http://ezezine.com
September 14, 2008
TEEN RELATIONS -- by Klaus Klein MA, RCC
In This Newsletter Issue:
1) Feature Article: Handling Stress of Parenting Your Teen
2) Free Talk
3) Parent Program
4) Counselling Services
1) Feature Article: The Village Concept And Your Teen
Getting Your Village Together
If you are like some of the parents I work with in counselling, you may
approach the start of school with mixed emotions. Parts for you may
feel liberation and relief, while other parts may be concern, worry,
and even nervousness about how the school year is going to be for your
teen. To alleviate some of your concerns, it is important to remember
that the beginning of the school year can also be a time to create your
village to help raise your teen. Being a parent of a teenager can be
one of the most challenging times of your life. It is therefore
important that you get as much support as you can.
--It takes a village to raise a kid--
The truth about this quote is that you alone cannot possibly do it all
on your own. In my work with parents and teens one of the most common
themes that come up time and time again is the myth that --I (the
parent) have to raise my teen alone--. If this sounds like you, you
will eventually end up being worn out mental and emotionally. You will
also likely have to deal with feelings of guilt, shame, frustration,
and embarrassment. You may even feel like a failure as a parent at
Like most parents, you mean well and try very hard, yet can easily
become exhausted. If you have been going at it in isolation carrying
the disappointment, frustration or anger of living with a teenager who
is having problems, it is common to feel tired and hopeless at times.
If you have reached a certain point of exhaustion and frustration you
may begin to focus on finding fault and blame with:
§ each other
§ their teen son or daughter
§ the school
§ the culture
Blaming others is an understandable reaction when you are tired and
upset. However, the problem with blaming is it eventually leads to more
isolation, exhaustion, and frustration in the end. Blaming doesn’t help
you solve the problems.
A Broader Approach That Prevents Burn Out
An alternative school program for teens that I have been working with
as a therapist uses a --team or village approach-- that has helped both
students and parents alike. Parents are invited to work closely with
the school staff. Sometimes there are between 4 to 7 adults in a room
at the same time with a teenager working together as a team. This can
have a powerful impact on a teen. Having a group of adults working
together for a teenager shows the teen that they are cared for, will be
held accountable, and that they are not alone.
Not every teenager and parent can be involved in such a program.
However, as a parent, you can attempt to get support through teachers,
counsellors, social workers, relatives, or any other adult that is
attached to your teen.
Possible Village Members For You To Recruit
§ Sport Coaches
§ School Counsellors
§ Church Pastors
§ School Police Liaison Officer
§ Adult Friends or neighbors
§ Teen’s Employer
Making the Most of Your Village
Once you have your village, there are many ways it can be utilized. You
could periodically meet as a group—or have special meetings during
difficult times. At other times, perhaps just keeping in telephone
contact will be all that is possible and practical. Either way, the
myth that you have to go at it alone is replaced with the knowledge
that you and your teen have a group of adults that are involved with
you on a regular basis. Everyone will have different roles with your
teen, but all will have the common goal of helping your teen become the
best that he or she can be.
The purpose of the village is to help your teen move forward by
acknowledging what is going well, and perhaps address some issues that
need improvement, i.e. attendance, tardiness, homework, study habits,
respect of rules, boundaries at home, etc. Meetings should never be a
As a parent, having other adults to connect with can give you that
extra hope and energy to get through the tough times. Pacing yourself
is important -- similar to running a long marathon race. Many times I
have seen a teen take one or two steps forward and then one step back.
Parents often get very excited and hopeful seeing the forward steps but
then get very disappointed, confused, and even devastated when a teen
slips up again and makes a bad choice. Parents often think -- But my
son or daughter changed and we were doing so well, and then…--
Remember that habit patterns often take time and effort over an
extended period of time for a complete change. Look at the big picture
and see if they are still moving forward in a positive direction
overall despite the set backs at times. Keep in mind that it will not
always be smooth sailing and to have people around you as you weather
some of the storms of raising a teen will be beneficial to you and your
Not only is the village there to support your teen. It can provide
tremendous support to you. Talking with another adult that knows you
and your teen can help you to be proactive instead of reactive. Being
reactive usually leads to regret whereas proactive comes from clear
thinking that will have a better result with your teen.
Creating a network of people around you that you can communicate with
can help you stay focused and grounded. Having adults around that are
involved in different ways with your teen gives him or her a chance to
be influenced and guided from a variety of adult sources.
The connection between parent and child is always unique and special.
The village is there to help support and develop that connection
through the challenges that are faced particularly in the teen years.
You as a parent can be in charge of creating the kind of village
support that you and your teen need during this new school year and in
the next years to come.
2) Free Talk
Handling The Stress Of Parenting Your Teen
Thursday, October 2, 2008, 7 to 8:30pm
Do you feel exhausted, frustrated, and at times isolated when it comes
to dealing with your teen? Discover how to tap into your deeper
resources and energy and have a more positive relationship with your
In this talk, you will discover coping skills you can use when under
stress, how to gain control of your reactions, and have the opportunity
to connect with other parents.
For more information go to: http://www.kdkcounselling.com/free_talk.htm
Register By e-mail: Freetalk@kdkcounselling.com
Space is limited.
3. Parent Program
Strengthen Your Parenting Skills, Regain Your Sense of Self, and Bring
More Peace Back in Your Life
Parenting Program for Parents Of Teens
Discover how to improve communication with your teen, handle
confrontations and conflict, and develop the confidence and the skills
to resolve the problems you are having with your teen.
Join us for the 6 sessions in this parenting program.
Starting Date October 22 until November 26 Do not miss out.
John Oliver Secondary School
530 East 41st Ave (41st and Fraser)
Vancouver, BC V5W 1P3
For more information go to:
To register send e-mail to: Parentprogram@kdkcounselling.com
4. Counselling Services
Counselling Services for Teens and Their Parents
I provide counselling for teens, parents, and family.
Call for a free 10-minute consultation 604-786-0709
Burnaby Office location: 2nd Floor 5050 Kingsway Burnaby -- near
Vancouver Office Location: 2nd Floor 1892 West Broadway -- near Cyprus
Hours: 4-7 pm Mon, Tues, and Wed
Klaus Klein is a Register Clinical Counsellor in BC