Teaching teens about making healthy choices is not just about me giving teens information.
It’s also about the information I get from them.
And boy do I learn a lot!
My goal is to take what they teach me and share it with parents like you.
To help bridge the communication gap between parents and teens.
And ultimately help you build a closer relationship with your daughter.
I start by asking girls in my class to share what they don’t understand about their parents.
And what they don’t think their parents understand about them.
Today I want to talk about two of their responses that come up in almost every class.
1. They don’t understand why their parents are so protective.
2. They also don’t understand why their parents “overreact” to finding out about poor choices they’ve made.
So, what’s the answer?
It starts with a little understanding…
When Teens Just Don’t Understand
Not much has changed since the “Fresh Prince” first recorded this song.
It’s a common complaint I hear in class, usually preceded by “my parents are too strict.”
So, I challenge them to see things from their parents’ point of view.
By sharing a story about the goldfish in the bowl:
I tell them a goldfish probably thinks his parents are horrible because they are preventing him from leaving the bowl and seeing the world. But what would happen if the goldfish left the bowl? He would die! The bowl is not there to ruin his life, but to protect him. And I tell teens that is exactly why their parents have rules and boundaries…not to ruin their lives, but to protect them.
Now you know my secret.
Creating visuals like the goldfish story above helps students “get it.”
I thought [my parents] were the worst and felt like they didn’t understand, but your presentation helped me understand that they were only trying to look out for me. I thought about myself as being a parent of a teen in today’s society and realized I would probably do the same thing as my parents. –High School Junior
Does your daughter ever complain that you “just don’t understand?”
Try creating your own visuals to help her see your point of view.
But if you really want to bridge the communication gap between you and your daughter?
Focus on understanding where she’s coming from.
Build a Bridge and Get Over It…Together!
If you want to bridge any communication gap between you and your daughter, take a page out of Stephen Covey’s book:
“Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”
I keep this quote in mind whenever students reluctantly share poor choices they’ve made when it comes to love, sex and relationships.
All teens make poor choices at some point.
So, I encourage you to keep this quote in mind for your daughter as well.
Seek first to understand the reason why she’s making poor choices.
Sit down with your daughter and find out what’s causing the behavior.
When you focus on the cause, instead of her choices, you can address what the real issue is.
I encouraged parents in my recent Gen Z Faith Summit interview, to make sure that they temper their initial reaction whenever their teens open up about poor choices they’ve made.
I know that’s easier said than done Mom.
But there’s a benefit to doing this: Your daughter will be more likely to open up and share what’s going on in her life when you’re not around.
And that’s how you build a bridge and get over your communication gap…together!
But what do you do when the communication gap between you and your daughter (on the issues of love, sex, and relationships), seems as wide as the Grand Canyon?
Grab a copy of my parent DVD, The Sex Talk Every Parent Needs to Have, and discover:
…why teens make the choices they do regarding sex, love, and relationships,
…what works (proven approaches I use in the classroom),
…what doesn’t (ineffective approaches according to teens themselves),
…and what you must do to help your teen make the best choices going forward.
You CAN close the gap and get on the same page with your teen.
All you need is a little help.
The Sex Talk Every Parent Needs to Have DVD is the help you’ve been waiting for!
Go here to order your copy today.