Last night I worked with 30 amazing parents at the Sunnyvale Public Library on how to build greater connection and influence with their adolescents so they would have a greater chance of discussing risky behavior. It’s easy for parents to say only a few words that can discourage dialogue. Last night, May 26, 2015, these parents became aware of these pitfalls and what to say instead. Each left with greater self awareness and confidence.
When asked what would describe their experience at the workshop, here are their responses:
- I feel empowered by the techniques I learned tonight.
- Real life advice.
- How to use proper words properly. Awareness of the various stages during an agreement and what I can control and change.
- I was inspired by her personal examples of having had a “risk taker: teen that came out okay by proper parental support and guidance.
- At first I wasn’t sure if I would take anything from this workshop. When we did the first role play, I realized how much I needed this workshop.
- Insightful. I think differently now.
- Some emotional experience. Thanks for professional and mother’s advice.
- It was really a good experience.
- Be very careful about interrogating a child. Wait and breath before I answer.
- This class has lessened my dread, just a bit, about what I may be facing.
- I want to connect with my kids by listening to them when they talk and not interrupting.
- Amazing and helpful.
- To know that I change rather than expecting my child to change first.
Part 2 in my talk last night was: Be Their Ally to Support Their Maturation Process
Adversarial Parenting Beliefs:
- A disagreement ends with a winner and a loser. The parent wins and the child loses.
- The quality of the relationship is not important. Therefore, feelings and thoughts of the other person are not important.
Ally Parenting Beliefs:
- The parent strives to find a win/win solution to the problem.
- The relationship is valued so everyone’s emotional well-being is important. The parent thinks before acting, “Will what I am about to say or do build or break the relationship? It is my choice.”
I recommend Dr. Dan Siegel’s book Brainstorm:
Dr. Dan Siegel, in his book Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain, dispels the negative stereotype of the teenager and shows how the adolescent brain is an evolutionary necessity that ensures the survival of our species and therefore teens should be better understood and appreciated.
©2015 Cynthia Klein, Bridges 2 Understanding, has been a Family Success Coach since 1994. She works with parents and organizations who want more cooperation, mutual respect and understanding between adults and children. Cynthia presents her expertise through speaking and private parenting coaching sessions. She 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.