When helping teens with their problems, it is crucial to understand how much you should be involved in offering suggestions and making the final decision.
If you cross over the line, your teen will get very upset.
Here are levels of parental/teen responsibility and idea input starting with Level 1 which is total input and decision making by the teen.
|Level||The final decision maker.||Type and Amount of input by parent.||Type and Amount of input by teen.||Decision Examples: Varies with families.|
|1||Teen||None||All ideas and emotional support.||Teen has a problem at school that you are unaware of.|
|2||Teen||Emotional support only. No ideas.||All ideas. Values emotional support.||Teen shares friend problem and just wants you to listen.|
|3||Teen||Ideas and emotional support.||Idea input varies. Open to parents ideas and emotional support.||Struggling with completing school assignments.|
|4||Parent and Teen||Everyone’s ideas and emotions feel equally valued. Consensus on decision.||Everyone’s ideas feel equally valued.||Deciding on a family vacation within a budget.|
|5||Parent||Parent has the final say yet puts high priority on teen’s feelings and thoughts in deciding.||Teen believes she has a good chance of influencing parent to their point of view.||Responsibilities around the house. What and when input.|
|6||Parent||Parent has the final say and listens to teen’s arguments||Teen knows he has to work hard to win the parent over to his ideas.||Rules are being broken such as overusing the computer. Curfew.|
|7||Parent||Parent does not listen to teen. No discussion||Teen knows a decision is being made and that she has no input.||No alcohol, drugs. No opposite sex in the house when parents aren’t home.|
|8||Parent||Makes decision without teen’s knowledge.||Unaware of decision until after it is made by the parent.||Being sent to a boarding school due to extreme problems at home.|
Deciding On Who Makes The Final Decision Consider these points when deciding the decision making process you will choose.
- The age of the child. Can the child make the decision by themselves? Do you want them to make the decision and experience the consequences so the child grows?
- Who is requesting the decision or who does the decision directly affect?
- Does it involve health, safety, family values or rules? If so, the parent has the responsibility to participate in the decision making process.
Depending on who makes the final decision on how to solve the challenge, you will take on the parenting role of either being a Director, Supporter, or Collaborator.
Read this article to learn a great parenting strategy when you need to direct your teen.
In the search box, enter communication and problem solving to learn more about this process.
©2014 Cynthia Klein, Bridges 2 Understanding, has been a Certified Parent Educator since 1994. She works with parents and organizations who want more cooperation, mutual respect and understanding between adults and children of all ages. Cynthia presents her expertise through speaking and private parenting coaching sessions. She is a member of the National Speakers Association and writes the Middle School Mom column for the Parenting on the Peninsula magazine. She works with parents of 4 – 25 year-old children. Contact Cynthia at bridges2understa.wpstagecoach.com, cynthia@bridges2understanding,com, or 650. 679.8138 to learn more about creating the relationship you want with your children.