How To Be A Good Parent To A Teenager


Hi! welcome to hero TV. I’m doctor Paul Jenkins. Today, we’re talking about parenting and specifically parenting with teens which can be kind of a challenge sometimes. I’m going to share a few short tips with you in this video that will help you to be a good parent to your teenager. Parenting. That’s one of the greatest challenges probably in the entire history of the planet. And, there are some challenges that sometimes come up as we’re parenting especially with teens. I think before we get into the real content of this video, I really want to establish the importance of our job as parents. Now, when I ask parents here in my office, what is your job? I get some really great answers like, it’s my job to teach them, correct principles, it’s my job to steer them, or guide them, in a way that they can become productive citizens. Or to have healthy happy fulfilling lives. All great answers. I think they can all be summarized into this one concept and we’ll come back to this. Your job, as a parent, is to love them. No matter what, and even if. Now, sometimes we have to play the little game, the even if game. So, will I love my kids even if they flunk out of school? Okay that one’s pretty easy. Will I love them even if they disobey me? You’ve tried that. Okay. Will I love them even if they break the law? They’re arrested. They’re incarcerated. They, they, hurt or injure each other. They get strung out on drugs. they go to rehab. ask all the questions and get really solid on that. Your job is to love them no matter what and even if. now we get deceived sometimes as parents thinking our job is to make sure that they, something. Now if you’ve already got teenagers, and you probably do if you found this video. That probably means that you’ve already encountered this, can you, can you make sure that they anything? Can you make sure that they pass their classes? can you make sure that they’re respectful? can you make sure that they obey? no. I don’t think that that’s even possible. so let’s get it out of our mind that our job is to make sure that they anything. And get right back to our job is to love them know matter what and even if. If you’ll stay attached to that particular job I can share with you some ideas that I think are going to be really helpful so keep that in mind as we get into this. Now, whenever we’re talking about parenting whether it’s teens or younger kids I like to start with this graph where we will plot control on this side against maturity down here. Now, control means control over your own life. Control those from zero to a hundred percent so you can have all the control and none of the controller somewhere in between. Now, maturity gets kind of fun to talk about. Typically, when we’re talking about maturity we’re talking about how grown-up you are so if we start this graph down here with birth think about it how much control do you have over your own life at birth? right. Hardly any. You can make a big noise and big stink but that’s about it. So, as you increase in maturity let’s put adult over here at this end. Although, we all know adults who aren’t very mature we’ll come back to that in just a minute. As an adult, how much control do you have over your own life? Now, if I were to ask your teenager that, what would they say? All the control. See, they’ve got this perception that adults have all of the control. So, let’s go with what they say for now. Now as adults, you and I know that there’s some small print but we’re not talking about that right now. So between birth and adulthood, we have this line that goes like this. Now what this means is that you have more and more control the more and more mature you become in your life. That makes sense to you? so under the line is the part of the control you get for yourself. Over the line is the part of the control that others stay and there has to be a hundred percent control. Only question is, who’s going to take it? and there’s a lineup by the way let me throw that in real quick. The lineup for the control it goes first, self. That means you get first crack at the control this is true for your kids too no matter what their age is. Second in line is the parents. So if your kids are not in control of themselves it becomes your responsibility and it is in your control to take that control next. Who’s after parents? Some people say friends or society or the school or whatever. It’s the state. The state has the power and the authority to take control over you or over your children. Now, whether that’s right or wrong we’re not here to discuss but they’re third in line that’s why it is so important for kids to get in control of themselves and if they can’t do it I want parents to be next in line. Because, it’s awfully unfortunate when you have to defer that to the state. So, let’s go back to how maturity stacks up when we take age out of the equation. So I’m erasing the birth and adult indicators here. And we instead are going to break this into three chunks or stages. I’m going to call these stages. Stage 1, stage 2, and stage 3. So let’s talk about what each of those stages looks like and then we’ll apply that to how we can become better parents for our teenagers. At stage 1, you’ll notice this is the least mature of the 3 stages the self doesn’t get very much control others take most of the control and for you as parents that’s very important. In stage 1 this is characterized by being very immature so what do we mean when we say immature? Selfish. let’s use that word selfish and self-centred at stage 1 you’re fighting to get what you want. At stage 1 there are tantrums, and fits, and yelling, and screaming, and crying, and whining, you get the picture right? Notices we’re talking about the stages it’s about stage not age so anyone of any age could throw temper tantrum. We expected from a two-year-old not so much from our seventeen year old and when a when an older kid or a teenager is acting in this selfish fighting stage. We describe them as being immature. So you wouldn’t necessarily say that about two-year-old because it’s age typical and age appropriate but those temper tantrums become a real problem for these older kids. So the demanding, the whining, the nagging, all of that stuff on stage one. Okay now let’s move to stage two. When you move to stage two, you stop fighting and you start cooperating. I’m going to put cooperation in here. That stage two you don’t want any trouble you want to keep the peace so you will negotiate you will try to work for some kind of a win-win solution see stage two is really more of a compliant and cooperative kind of a stage and the cooperation is what delineates the difference between stage one and stage two. Now, for stage three. That is the most mature of all three stages this is where we would we would call this true responsibility. At stage three, you’re doing the right things for the right reasons in other words that I really like here is initiative. Where you see what needs to be done and you take care of it. So, a quick test to just see how this plays out in a in a family let’s say that you’re 13, 14, 15 year-old child is the one that we’re talking about and we approach that child and we say, “Nate, would you please take out the garbage” and Nate is a 15 year old of course, is going to answer. Trick question, it depends on what stage he’s on let’s say that he’s on stage 1 what would his answer be? “take up garbage?! why do I have to do that nobody else ever has to do anything around here why is it me! you know I’m just your slave isn’t it that’s dumb! I’m out of here!”. Okay, so it can get really colorful or stage one could be a little more subtle something like, “whatever” I don’t even know what that means for sure but he’s out the back door right? he’s not taking out the garbage. Do you see? you recognize it. Stage one is where they will not cooperate, they’re selfish, they’re fighting you on everything. Okay, got it? now let’s bring Nate up to stage two. “Would you please take out the garbage?” now at stage two Nate response might still not be enthusiastic. It might be something like, “fine!” but then he does it. See, the key here is cooperation even if it’s not being thrilled about it stage two might be a little more on the pleasant side it could be something like, “okay, yeah ,sure” or he might try to work out some kind of an agreement with you something like, “well can I, yeah I’ll do it. But can I finish the show first? can I finish this game? I still need to save.” right? “save” I never quite understood that what are they gonna do I have to play it again sometime? anyway. stage two is the cooperation stage. okay, got it? Let’s move to stage three. “Nate would you please take out the garbage?” okay now on stage three of course he’s going to be happy to do it he will be cheerful he would comply and say yes I’d be happy to help but, an even better three stage three response, “Oh dad, I already took out the garbage but is there anything else I could do to help you out?” meanwhile, dad’s out cold on the floor right? kids of any age can do this but the stage three response includes initiative because you don’t even have to ask them they see what needs to be done and they do it. I had a thirteen year old girl in my office not too long ago with her mom and they’re having some grand adventures and I wanted to see if she really got this and so I asked her how does mom know? She’s like, how’ she know what how does mom know That the dishes need to be done? how can she tell And, this 13 year old girl she rolled her eyes a little bit at me come “oh dr. Paul” She can see it. Oh really can you see it? and this is where it started to click in with her a little bit. okay I get it see can she can see that the dishes need to be done but she’s not taking enough maturity to actually step up and do that so when we understand the three stages then we can understand how we intervene or how we handle our teenagers we can’t expect them to be stage three if they’re showing us stage one behavior so real quick on what the parents job is at each of these stages identify what it is and you can tell you can tell where your kids are for Stage one we apply consequences it’s the only thing that works on stage one stage one and it is driven by consequences because everything is external in terms of why they’re doing they’re moral reasoning it’s all based on what’s in it for me or am I going to get clobbered for this see, it’s very externalized so we use consequences at stage one we still use consequences at stage two but we also add communication give you three ‘c’ words okay consequences is the first one communication is next now we’ll still use consequences but there’s a different kind of consequences we use at stage two and it has to do with that, with the cooperation you’ll notice that some consequences require cooperation and others don’t if you’re on stage one you have to pick consequences that do not require cooperation because you don’t get it until stage two now you can have all kinds of new consequences at stage two there require cooperation that’s kind of fun and you add the communication piece now when you move to stage three when your child is on stage three here’s the last C word consultation this is where your kid comes to you your teenager knocks on your door says dad what what can I do about this you know he’s got some kind of problem or mom what do you think about this thing that I’m dealing with and you share your paternal wisdom with them and they very graciously thank you as they return home to their own five kids right well this can happen before they actually reach full maturity teenagers who figure this out find out very quickly that they get to have a whole lot more control in their life and you think about it if your teenager is showing you stage 3 behavior consistently you want to back off and give them as much control as possible over their own life and that sounds like kids pick up on this really quickly as well so to become a better parent to your teenager, number one your job is to love them no matter what and even if stay very clear about that and then in the context of love we determine what stage our kids are on in terms of their moral development and then we know what to do to respond either through consequences effective communication or simply consulting with them. well thanks for watching hero TV today. I bet after this video that you have a whole bunch of questions be sure to leave them in the comments below we love answering questions down there remember to live on purpose, make a difference, and be the hero!

69 thoughts on “How To Be A Good Parent To A Teenager

  1. So well done, clear, and usable and so professional. I have sent this to my daughter and who knows my 15 yr old granddaughter may watch it too. I'm enjoying this series.

  2. It depends on the child how they will turn up i was a brat when i was young now i am ok even if you control or show them the way if they cant find their way then their is no way

  3. My parents dont get anything my mom is embarrassing and my dad is overprotective and its like PRIVACY ISNT A THING JUST BECAUSE MY DOOR IS BROKEN AND YOU CAN PUSH IT OPEN DOESN'T MEAN YOU CAN BARGE IN I HATE IT AND ITS ANNOYING UUUUUUUGH😡😡😡😵

  4. Thank you. My 16yr old son has a pattern of diarrhoea in the morning on school days but never weekends and he genuinely has diarrhoea in the morning. Hes grades are dropping and prefers online gaming. Doesnt socialise either. Please HELP plse advise Dr. The GP and school principal said its nothing to be concerned about and im stressing.

  5. Thanks for this series! Very accessible and empowering!
    QUESTION: What are some examples of consequences that do not require cooperation?

  6. Purple Cat, when you pay for your own home and your own door you can have a winge. Until then perhaps be a little more grateful. I know you're more intelligent than all previous generations combined but cut us some slack whilst we slave to pay the bills that benefit you! 👌
    Just saying.

  7. At first I thought this guys a dufus suffering from early onset alzhimers but I stayed with it and I'm more enlightened for my time here.
    Thank you.

  8. I'm 15 and I'm on stage 2 🤣. And its really annoying when parent ask you for a favor and you need to save your game.

  9. ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤ this was great I have an 18 year old a 16 year old to 27 year old at home all of which are in these stages it's a great way to visually see how to communicate with each of them and parent then individually

  10. What do you do when the teen is comfortable in Stage 1 and is unfazed by the consequences that happen over and over?

  11. Can u do something about seperated parents and long distance relationships please and if u can can u give some brief advice here.. Thank u

  12. What do you do with an 19 year old son who completly belives my role as a mam is to always and forever pay and do absoultly everything for them and they are the only reason I'm alive is to do that and have zero life myself. And a 15 yr old son who is now the same but absoultly hates me even tho I do absoultly everything for him do what ever they want? And if I don't run them here there and everywhere do all house work clothes washing clean both there rooms (they do nothing ) im then the worst parent in the world. By the way im doing this completly alone i have no other family. Do i deserve any kind of life ?or is this it

  13. My son becomes physically and verbally abusive when I set consequences. He’s been to therapy sessions but it hasn’t help. He was recently arrested for reckless driving and position of marijuana. I’m letting him face the consequences by letting him stay in jail by default because he’s arrested in another state and I won’t be able to get him until the end of next day. He’s 17, he’ll be 18 soon. I don’t know what to do, PLEASE HELP!

  14. I am a teenager (16) and my mom controlls everything in my life. I have no freedom at all. when i was little i was in stage 3. Now i am in stage 1 again. She doesn't give me freedom at all. I always act mature. But i have no controll. I always do my cleaning. But whenever i want to hang out with my friends it's always no. And i am kind off losing my friends because of it… she tells me that she wants to protect me. But i feel like i am trapped in my own house.. just because i am a girl. Because my brother goes whenever he wants. And when i want to talk about it. She just get's mad at me and gives me a time out like i am a 2 year old. It's like i never grow up in her eyes..

  15. Hi my 14 year old won’t talk to me n she’s very quiet person- I’ve tried everything to get t talk to her she’s a miserable girl any advice anyone thank you 😊

  16. Such a challenge on a daily bases. No matter what I unconditionally love my teenager.
    Can you…. SO TRUE! Omg. I’m always telling myself I can’t control what he does!

  17. I'm sitting here heart broken from the recent falling out with my son, I would have also said my job is to make you a better person and prepare you for adult life but loving him no matter what caught me off guard.

  18. Doctor Paul Jenkins I am parent but I seem to always act in phrase 1 to my kids what advice would you have for parents ?

  19. What if ur mom is super controlling even if you do everything right and dont argue amd do ur chores amd cooperate. And as you become more mature she just gets more controlling

  20. Thank you so very much l raise teen 14 all by myself lam grandmother and he's at stage 2 it's hard sometimes but l love him no matter what l watch your videos and they help me a lot to handle tough situations tanks again

  21. Wow!!! You rock 🎸 this parenting to a teen is difficult. I’m enlightened by your information. Thanks so much. I keep watching because teen can be hurtful or act like they don’t care

  22. This is really useful as i see things more in pictures so the graph sticks in my brain. Its difficult when theres trauma involved as you have so much damage from the past, but I agree with the love no matter what.

  23. Uncondtional love for the children….yup! I knew and understand teen agers behaviour cuz their hormones changes and even the teens don't know that.. why are they act like that…they need soft communication…understand them and parents need to control your temperament…then after your child's adolescent…back to normal behaviour..so both children and parents are happy ending…my son is so sweet for me…

  24. "Saving" a game is when you record all your progress so you dont have to restart it all over again. For example, if you complete 3 levels or missions in a game, you need to "save" it. If you dont, you need to redo those 3 levels again once you restart the game.

  25. Im a teenager and idk why im watching this, but when he said “love them no matter, even if…” i started crying. Beautiful words

  26. What about when they say ok ill do it in a min!! Then that happens over and over!!! HELP!!!! it takes his step dad getting angry to do it!

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