A couple weeks ago, I sent out the link to the first video I’d made as part of my FREE summer parenting tips series. In case you didn’t get a chance to watch that, I’ve got valuable insights to share from that clip that I hope will have you thinking, “Okay, yeah. This totally happens in my household, but I hadn’t really ever thought about it that way.” We dived into a framework that helps parents avoid one of the most common mistakes when motivating their teens and tweens. So, grab your favorite snack and let’s dig in!
Your teen is struggling, but they aren’t doing anything to fix their situation.
Picture this: Your teen is stuck–or maybe even struggling– in some way, and you’ve got all these amazing ideas and plans to make things better for your kid. Maybe summer is approaching and she SAYS she wants to find part time work, but hasn’t done anything to nail that job. Or maybe he’s falling behind in a class, but isn’t doing what he needs to catch up. Or maybe they’re stuck at home complaining about how they never have any social plans, but they aren’t reaching out to their friends.
You, the parent, know just what needs to happen.
In YOUR head, you have JUST the solution to the problem!
She can visit nearby restaurants to pick up job applications.
He can reach out to his teacher about extra help sessions.
They can invite their buddies that they play games with online over for an IN PERSON movie night.
But guess what? Our teens and tweens might not be on the same page as us. They may still be thinking about the problem and aren’t ready for solution-time yet.
Stages of Change
Whenever an individual is going to make a change in their life, big or small, they go through a series of steps, sometimes very quickly, sometimes not so quickly.
Here’s the lowdown on the stages of change model:
- Stage 1: Pre-contemplation. The “I haven’t even thought about changing” stage.
- Stage 2. Contemplation. The “I know I need to change, but I’m not doing anything about it” stage.
- Stage 3: Planning/Preparation. The “Okay, I’m thinking about it and considering some action steps” stage.
- Stage 4: Action. The “I’m finally taking action!” stage.
- Stage 5: Maintenance. The “I’m keeping up with the change and making it stick” stage.
- Stage 6: Relapse. The “Oops, I slipped back a bit, but I’m getting back on track” stage.
Sometimes parents enter the change model a few steps ahead of thier kids.
Now, here’s the (not always so) fun part about this change model and raising teens. Parents often zoom ahead to the action stage, while our kids might still be hangin’’ in the contemplation or pre-contemplation zone. And guess what happens then? Resistance city, baby! Yes, when we jump to action when our kids are still in “thinking about it” stage, it’s easy for your teen to feel pushed. And then to dig their heels in and back away from the whole process in general. And, if your household is anything like mine, the result can also involve a minor…or sometimes major…rift in the parent-child relationship.
Parents need to respect where their teens are in the stages of change model.
We want our teens to buy into the change, right? AND we want our relationship with our children to stay connected throughout the change process. So, we gotta respect their pace and let them move through those stages of change on their terms.
That said, sometimes time really is of the essence, and you need some tools to help you help your teen progress from one stage to the next a bit FASTER. During my parent coaching sessions, we dive deep into understanding where your child is in this change process. I often can provide some super effective communication tools to shift them from “Meh, I don’t even think about it” to “Hmm, maybe I should consider this” to “You know what? I’m going to do something about this.” It’s all about empowering them to make the change their own, and there ARE tools to help you equip your teen in this way.
Want to learn more? These communication skills and more will be covered in the upcoming Teen Savvy Parenting Masterclass, which kicks off Monday, August 28th. More info about that, including the $500 early bird registration discount (which will expire at the end of July or when seats fill..whichever comes first!) can be found here.
Also, if you still haven’t gotten in on my FREE summer parenting videos yet, you can do so by clicking here. https://mailchi.mp/teensavvycoaching.com/live-video-opt-in Plenty more videos to come!
Alright, keep rockin’ that parent game!