Teen Relations Newsletter -- by Klaus Klein
This Free 'Teen Relations' Newsletter
is written by Klaus Klein, MA, RCC
Title: -- What The Mind Focuses On Expands --
What are some of the things people complain about
when it comes to teens?
-- On the computer too much
-- Disrespectful Attitude
-- Don’t open up and talk to parents
-- Don’t study enough
-- Too much time on the computer
-- Stay out with Friends too late
-- Don’t clean their room
What often happens is that parents focus and
continuously react to the very thing they wish to
After a parent's reaction to a situation the son or
daughter is left sitting with negative feelings about
the parent’s reaction.
Some well-meaning parents believe this is what
will make their son or daughter change.
But over the years working with teens I
find that the focus is most often on the parent's
reaction -- not what the actual issue is that
needed to change.
When it comes to what a person focuses on,
emotions are often more powerful and longer
lasting than logical thought.
This kind of emotional pattern over time can be
very destructive for the relationship and ultimately
get in the way of any positive influence the parent
wishes to have with their kids.
When parents constantly nag and harp on the
very thing they wish were different with their
kids, it actually deepens an emotional bond between
the teen and the parents' negative emotions.
These negative emotions are far from inspiring or
motivating for a son or daughter to do the very
thing that is asked.
Such as cleaning their room, studying, getting off the
This is not about denying negative behaviours.
Addressing certain negative behaviours with your
son or daughter certainly has its place.
However, when parents constantly focus on what
is wrong, that is also where the mind of the son or
daughter goes as well.
As parents, you want to direct your teen's mind
to focus on what you see them doing that is positive
far more than what is negative.
Not just big things. But the small simple everyday
Concept: ‘WHAT THE MIND FOCUSES ON EXPANDS’
Starting out with a conscious effort to use
some simple things like :
Thank you for listening
It's good to see you being nice to your
Thank you for washing your dishes
Thank you for carrying you plates to the
Thank you for helping carry XXXX
Thank you for picking up your clothes
I see you studying very hard right now, good for you.
It’s good to see you reading a book
Thank you for calling me
Thank you for texting me
Thank you for eating dinner with us
It’s good to see you here eating with us today…
‘It’s good to see you….’
--Every time you validate something in your son or
daughter you are bringing their attention to the
same thing you are focused on.--
You are training their brains through auto-repetition
to focus on something that you'd like to see more of and
What are the emotions connected with these validations?
Positive, right! That is what you want your
teen to feel as they receive this from you.
This will improve your relationship with your
son or daughter.
No matter where you are in your relationship with
your son or daughter, start simple and build.
Who doesn't like to be validated? Even for simple
things. Over time, even focusing on the small simple
things adds up and expands.
As parents, you have the power to apply and lead
where the mind focuses to expand the behaviours
you wish to see more of and appreciate with your
Klaus has a private clinical practice in Burnaby near
Metrotown at 5050 Kingsway 2nd floor.
Klaus works with individuals, couples,