Teen Relations By Klaus Klein http://ezezine.com
Teen Relations Newsletter : by Klaus Klein MA, RCC
---HAPPY NEW YEAR 2010----
In this Newsletter Issue:
1. Feature Article : "When Teens Are In Trouble:
What They Need From Their Parents"
2. Counselling Services - Klaus Klein, MA, RCC
1) Feature Article
When Teens are in Trouble:
What They Need From Their Parents
How you, as a parent, manage your reactions to finding
out your teen has been in trouble and respond to them
during crisis will impact:
1) how effectively the crisis is resolved,
2) the extent of the learning that takes place and,
3) your relationship with your teen.
Although there are many ways that even the most well-behaved
and trusted teens can get in trouble, one of the worst is being
involved in a car accident, In fact, fearing their teen will get into
a car accident is one of the most intense fears that parents have.
A few weeks ago I did some counselling with three teenage girls
who were involved in a car wreck. Thankfully, they survived
with only bruises. The car, which had been 'borrowed' without
permission, was a total wreck. The teen driver of the car had lost
control and hit a parked car.
At the time of the accident, all three girls panicked and were not
able to think clearly. They did, however, each have one thought,
"I can't tell my parents because they'll freak out at me". So the
girls tried to cope with their own emotional turmoil and panic
and ended up running away to a friend's house. They actually hid
the fact they had been in an accident. However, the truth did come
out a few hours later as the police were doing their investigation.
What does it take to encourage a teen to face a problem directly
rather than running away from it? How can you raise your children
so that when something happens instead of fearing your reaction
as their parent, they realize that they actually need your help and
support in facing the problem?
What teens need most when in a serious situation are parents or
adult caregivers that:
- stay calm so that the teen can reflect on what happened
rather than focus on the parent
- help them accept the consequences they will need to face
- without being yelled at or nagged
- can be responsible adults and take care of their own fears,
anxiety, and anger and not react and take it out on the teen
- use the opportunity in the crisis situation to actually become
closer to their teens instead of pushing them further away
Fortunately in the scenario above, after finding out about the
accident, one of the girl's parents managed to change her
pattern of reacting emotionally in anger with her daughter.
Instead of reacting negatively and pushing the daughter
away, the parent chose to stay calm so that she could be
the parent her daughter needed.
The parent invited the daughter to come home where she would
be properly taken care of and to process what had happened.
The parent worked on connecting and caring for the daughter
rather than blaming, shaming, and nagging. After a supportive
evening together, the next step was guiding the daughter through
the consequences. This is the step where the learning and
accountability can, and should take place.
Here are 2 insights into what that experience did for the
daughter in her own words:
1) "If my mother had freaked out then I would
have focused on her freaking out and not on me
(and what I did)"
2) "Because my mother didn't freak out, I now feel
all the shame, embarrassment, and guilt of what I did."
Many parents would like to hear similar statements when their
teen has gotten into trouble.
As parents, it's in both our and our teen's best interests that
our children are not afraid of what we might do to them when
they get into trouble. We want them to focus on their actions
and not on the reactions of us, as parents. We want them to
come to us for help especially when they are in a panic, scared,
When the parental 'freaking out' factor is eliminated it leaves
room for the teen to look at what is really going on with
themselves and even come to you for help. It encourages teens
to be accountable and responsible. Most parents would
welcome such a change in their teen.
This type of shift is more likely to occur if it happens before
there is a big crisis. If you practice being calm and in control
of your own reactions on an ongoing basis you will find any
larger crisis much easier to deal with. The key is that you do
not want your son or daughter to be afraid to come to you
when they are in trouble and need you.
You want them to feel close enough to you that no matter
what happens they know they can come to you for guidance.
2) Counselling Services
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