Category Archives: Parent-child Communication

Do You Over-Praise Your Child?

Praising a child is a good thing, isn’t it? Doesn’t praise boost self-esteem, which is crucial to achievement, sound decision-making and healthy relationships? According to Heidi Stevens’ superb article, “In Criticism of Praise,” in the January 2015 issue of the … Continue reading

The 12 Most Important Insights for Parenting Teens

A common question from parents: “There’s so much advice out there, a lot of it is conflicting. What should I focus on? What’s most important?” Over the years, I’ve read most of the classic books on parenting, and I’ve given … Continue reading

Bonding with Teens – The Secret Sauce Is How You Talk to Them

Teens are different from younger kids in lots of ways. They may not be adults yet, but they aren’t little kids anymore. If you talk to them as if they are, you’ll push them away. They need your guidance, but … Continue reading

Boy Is Beautiful

A guest post from Mark Sherman, who has four grandsons and wants boys who act in typical boy ways to feel good about themselves. Society, at least in schools, may be sending a different message. I remember well in the … Continue reading

Effective Communication Skills – The Game-Changer for Parents of Teenagers

Teenagers know they’re growing up, and they don’t like being treated like little kids. They need the wisdom and guidance of parents and other adults. But they hate lectures, sarcasm, put-downs, screaming, commands, threats, ultimatums, shaming, judging, and blaming. Don’t … Continue reading

The Miracle Skill of Parent-Child Communication

My dad wasn’t a good listener, and my mom wasn’t much better. But I have no bad feelings about this. It was just an aspect of how things were back then. In 1960, only a few people on the planet … Continue reading

Bye-Bye Dirty Dozen, Hello 7 Key Parent-Child Communication Skills

For me, the best book ever written about parent-child communication was Dr. Thomas Gordon’s P.E.T. – Parent Effectiveness Training, a 1975 classic that is still widely used today. It isn’t easy to raise kids. Sometimes they’re sweet and adorable. But … Continue reading

Recipe for Disappointment – Making Assumptions about Your Teen

The dad lets his son borrow the car. “Be sure to have it back by six. I’ve got an important place to be tonight.” “No problem, Dad.” Six o’clock comes and goes. With no sign of his son, he makes … Continue reading

Why Teens Rebel – In Case You’ve Forgotten…

When they’re little you read to them, hoping they’ll love books and reading and learning. Before you know it they’re in school, beginning a journey that will teach them about the world. And in half a dozen years, puberty begins … Continue reading

A Powerful Parenting Skill – Get Kids to Think for Themselves

My wife, Kathleen Scott,  contributes regularly to the San Antonio Express-News Travel section and sometimes to the Food section. She also is working on a third draft of a mystery novel. I think it’s remarkable that she made a successful … Continue reading

Adults Can Improve the Way They Mentor Youth – And Make a Difference

Adults care a great deal about the youth in their communities. They want fewer kids to be at risk. They want more kids growing up to be strong, happy, successful adults. They’re willing to be mentors to young people. And … Continue reading

Internet Bullying – What Parents Need to Know and Do

From Amanda Kostina at the WhiteFence Savings blog, this insightful guest post… Learning that your teenager has been the target of bullies is both heartbreaking and infuriating. The discovery that your child is party to the torment and agony of … Continue reading

For Parents Only – How to Manage Your Teen’s Use of Social Media

In the 21st century, young people use social media to relate to each other. There are upsides and downsides – even dangers – to this activity. You want your child to have friends, but real relationships, not virtual ones. You … Continue reading

Forget Halloween. Here’s Something Really Scary – Rebellious Teenagers

For this post I’ve included an interesting video. Or maybe you’ll find it a shocking video. Watch it all the way through. Don’t click off just because it’s disgusting. The clips were recorded by the teens themselves. There are thousands … Continue reading

Feedback Done Right – Motivating Kids to Do What You Want

Compliments. Praise. Recognition. Affirmation. Gratitude. Appreciation. Positive feedback. Positive strokes. Pats on the back. Good stuff! Unfortunately, most of the feedback we give our kids is negative. You know – CRITICISM. When we’re bothered by something they’ve done and we … Continue reading

7 Practical Ideas for Nurturing the Parent-Teen Bond

Thanks to Maureen Denard at FindaNanny.net for this guest post. The adolescent years can stress a parent-child relationship. This article has several practical ideas for helping the bond to grow stronger. In a world where there never seems to be … Continue reading

The Generation Gap – A Failure of Parent-Teen Communication

A teenager made a dumb mistake and damaged a tool. His father, angry, shouted at him about carelessness and irresponsibility. No love, understanding or respect was communicated in the heated interchange. The boy felt like a failure and resented his … Continue reading

Top Three Coaching Skills for Parents of Adolescents

Recently Meredith Bell and I featured a live teleseminar for parents, “Three Coaching Skills for Parents That Will Transform Your Relationship with Your Teenager.” We focused on what we believe are the three most powerful skills among the seven coaching … Continue reading

Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem – The Right Way

Self-esteem is how people see themselves – their worth, who they are. Low self-esteem can build from making mistakes, from not forgiving oneself, and from too much criticism from authority figures such as parents, elders, teachers, or employers. Young people … Continue reading

10 Important Lessons Moms Can Teach Their Sons

A boy who grows up without the guidance of a father is at a disadvantage, even at risk. But the role of the mother, who more often than not is the primary nurturer, has an enormous influence. This guest post … Continue reading

Teens Rise [Fall?] to the Cinnamon Challenge – An Epidemic of Low Self-Esteem

“The Cinnamon Challenge.” Young teens dare each other to swallow a tablespoon of cinnamon in less than a minute without water. Many teens see it as a popular way to have a lot of fun. Part of the excitement is … Continue reading

1 Million Adolescent Suicide Attempts Per Year

Recently a huge tornado devastated a small town in Oklahoma, killing 24 people. Stories and images of the destruction were all over the Internet, the newspapers and television news. The coverage reminded me of when in early June, 1966, I … Continue reading

Teaching Kids about Identity Theft

Identity theft is a real problem and, sadly, children are not exempt from having their identities stolen. Recently, Nancy Parker of eNannySource.com connected with Julie Myhre, who covers identity theft for NextAdvisor.com. Nancy graciously shared the text of their conversation … Continue reading

Puberty – The Lost Passage from Child to Adult

The goal of parenting a teenager:  to help the child mature into a responsible, happy, successful adult. Even parents who consciously keep this goal in mind often have an awful time dealing with teen emotion, rebellion, risk-taking and substance abuse. … Continue reading

Are You a “Conscious Parent”?

In another post, I talked about a movie that portrayed a dysfunctional family that included two well-intended but – as I described them – “unconscious” parents. I put my own parents in that category. I knew that my mom and … Continue reading

5 Magic Questions – Help Your Teen Learn from Mistakes

Fact: To learn from what happens to you, you have to take the time to think about what happened, why it happened and what you could have done differently. And most people don’t always do that. Fact: Busy teenagers almost never … Continue reading

Many Parents Avoid Frank Talks with Their Teens – For Good Reasons

I’ve written two books, Conversations with the Wise Uncle (for boys) and Conversations with the Wise Aunt (for girls). Both are fictional accounts about an older relative mentoring a young person during the teen years to give the child a “heads up” … Continue reading

From Rude Teen to Polite Teen – 3 Practical Strategies

Originally published at GoNannies.com, this guest post comes from Anne Laurie, a frequent contributor to that blog. There’s wisdom here. If you do these things that encourage politeness, you’ll probably be on track for building a strong relationship with your teen. … Continue reading

Strong for Parenting Podcast Episode #5 – LISTENING

Very few adults are good listeners. And yet, listening well is the most powerful thing you can do with a teenager. When your child expresses herself, and you respond, you want her to think, Mom really understands what I’m saying. … Continue reading

Parent-Child Communication – Build the Bridge, or Tear it Down

Teenagers…emotional, inarticulate and needy, may try to ask for something or make a statement. Maybe they want to buy something. Maybe they want to go somewhere. Maybe they’re having a problem. But parents are human, too, and not always in … Continue reading

Grow the Bond with Your Child – Forgive the Small Things

As we prepared to go the gym for our morning workout, my wife discovered that she had misplaced her car keys. We searched for ten minutes and finally found them in the car, still in the ignition. Unfortunately, the battery … Continue reading

Between Parent & Teenager – Classic Wisdom

Between Parent & Teenager (1967) , by Dr. Haim G. Ginott, was published before many of today’s parents of teenagers were born. Ginott, who has been dead for forty years, was a well-known child psychologist and parent educator. His insight … Continue reading

For Parents of Teens: How to Change Your Child’s Behavior

Father: “Hey, son. I thought I asked you to clean and put away the tools after you use them.” Son: “Oh. Right.” Father: “Well, the tools you used last night are still on the bench. Why didn’t you put them … Continue reading

Teen Sex – A Crisis with a Solution

For the past few years I’ve been interviewing adults about their adolescent experiences. I always ask, “What did your parents tell you about sex?” Ninety-five percent of the time the answer is, “Nothing.” I remember the one and only time … Continue reading

Low Self-Esteem – One of the Perils of Being a Teenager

It’s unfortunate that so many teenagers feel miserable… Maybe they can’t afford the clothes the cool kids wear – I WON’T BE POPULAR. Maybe they lag behind in reading and basic learning skills – I’M NOT SMART. Maybe they were … Continue reading

Your Child Can Develop a Brilliant Mind – Or not…

The human brain has dozens and dozens of areas that perform special tasks. While a baby is born with a complete brain, it’s like a brand new computer with no software and no data. So throughout childhood, the outer layer … Continue reading

A Huge Turning Point in the Life of a Teenager…Usually Doesn’t Happen

What’s the most high-impact event in the life of a teenager – the one that changes everything? Well, it’s not the party celebrating the 13th birthday. Or the first date, although that’s the perspective of many young people. No, the … Continue reading

Insights for Parents – The Real Nature of Forgiveness

Many parents think that when you forgive a young person, you’re doing something for the child. Yes, your child may regret doing something that hurt your feelings and may have asked for forgiveness. And indeed, telling the child that you … Continue reading

John Rosemond’s Book: Teen-Proofing

Some of the best authors on the subject of parenting have books about teens. Many of the more recent ones treat the topic of teen brain development. John Rosemond is my favorite authority on parenting who doesn’t talk about brain … Continue reading

The 5 Critical Communication Skills for Parents of Teens

There are five communication skills that are so important to parenting a teenager that the failure to use any one of them – even just once – can cause problems in a relationship. My research of the literature has taught … Continue reading

The Brain Talk – A Young Girl Learns What’s Happening in Her Teen Brain

I’m just guessing, but it may be true that no teenager in the long history of planet Earth has ever been given “the brain talk,” even though it’s probably the most important information a teen can have. Nevertheless, imagine a … Continue reading

Conversations with the Wise Uncle

Not many parents feel comfortable talking to their kids about sex and other momentous topics. There’s a lot of ground to cover, and parents know they’re not experts on every subject. Besides, times have changed, and they remember their own … Continue reading