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Teaching Parents Strategies for Difficult Teens
 Difficult Teens continuing education psychologist CEUs

Section 30
Appendix: Client Reproducible Worksheets

CEU Answer Booklet | Table of Contents
| Parenting
Psychologist CEs, Counselor CEUs, Social Worker CEUs, MFT CEUs

Other-Person-Centered Responding
Review track 2 for more information on this technique.
Adult client focuses on following guidelines when communicating with his or her teen.

  1. Stay on topic.
  2. Give your teen attention and time.
  3. Don’t be frightened by silences.
  4. Employ the word or name your teen uses.
  5. Keep thinking, what does their story mean to them, not how it affects me as a parent.
  6. Be a mirror to them – what they say is what they get.
  7. Do not play "Can you top this?" or "that reminds me of" games.
  8. Do not react out of your own needs.
  9. Avoid interruptions when your teen is talking.
  10. When listening, do not conclude where they are going before they get there.
  11. Think how your response will be viewed by your son or daughter.

Reframing Mistakes
Review Track 8 for more information on this technique.
Teen client uses following mistake-reframing ideas.
Mistakes as Teachers-- Like a teacher, mistakes can allow for growth and a changing perspective.  Mistakes give you feedback on what you need to correct and what to improve on to complete your goal. 
Mistakes as Warnings-- By making a mistake, thus getting a warning, a teen client may be able to stop what they are doing before they are in serious trouble. 
Mistakes as Prerequisites for Spontaneity-- As you know, this type of perfection halts a teen to say what is really on their mind.  A teen will not express such thoughts or feelings as love, hate, or opinions. 
Mistakes as a Necessary Quota-- What I mean by a necessary quota is that every person deserves a healthy amount of mistakes.  McKay says that one to three out of every ten decisions are wrong.  This is a reasonable quota. 
Mistakes as being Nonexistent in the Present-- It is what a client thinks or feels about his or her action later. 

Streamlining the Problem
Review track 10 for more information on this technique.
Adult client reviews following questions in discovering motives behind teen attempts.

  1. Is the problem I am about to write down really important to me?
  2. Could I let this problem go?
  3. What would happen if I just waited?
  4. Could I lose by doing nothing?
  5. Is the problem a safety concern?

Discovering Parental Triggers
Review track 11 for more information on this technique.
Adult client reviews following list of common triggers to discern which ones he or she is most susceptible to.

  1. "You never let me do anything!"
  2. "You don't love me!"
  3. "I hate you/this family!"
  4. Swearing or verbal abuse.
  5. A disgusted look, improper gesture, or whiny voice.
  6. Lying.

Discovering Teen Triggers
Review track 11 for more information on this technique.
Adult client reviews following list of common triggers to discern which ones his or her teen is most susceptible to.

  1. Preaching and using clichés
  2. Ranting.
  3. Labeling.
  4. Extrapolating
  5. Instant problem-solving
  6. Questioning your teen's resistance and discontent
  7. Not tolerating experimental behavior
  8. Collecting criticism

Family Meeting
Review track 12 for more information about this technique.
Client’s parent reviews following tips to ensure a proactive family meeting.

  1. Deal with one problem at a time.  Someone defines the problem and others get a chance to give their points of view.
  2. Each person should get a chance to talk, without interruption, insult, and criticism.  Turn off the TV and don’t answer the phone.
  3. Make a shift from haggling over the problem to reaching solutions.  Agree on a set of goals that will achieve the ends you’ve mutually agreed upon and brainstorm on a few ideas to reach these goals.
  4. Weigh the pros and cons of each and get everyone’s opinions.

Winning Cooperation
Review track 13 for more information on this technique.
Client’s parent reviews following steps to ensure effective communication.

  1. Express understanding for how you think your teen might be feeling.  Be sure to check with him or her to see if you are right.
  2. Show understanding.  Understanding does not mean you agree or condone.  It simply means you understand your teen’s perception.  A nice touch here is to share times when you have felt or behaved similarly.
  3. Share your feelings and perceptions.  If the first two steps have been done in a sincere and friendly manner, your teen might be ready to listen to you.
Ask if your teen would be willing to work on a solution with you.  Ask if he or she has any ideas on what to do in the future to avoid the problem.  If not, offer some suggestions and seek his or her agreement.
 
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