Skip to main content

Understanding Your Teen: Resources For Parents
For the parents of my teenage clients, I think understanding their kid must feel like trying to read the Rosetta Stone without the knowledge of Greek, Demotic or Hieroglyphics, i.e. frustrating, mysterious and sometimes downright impossible.

I received a call from an upset parent recently. The call was similar in content to calls I have taken in the past from other parents. "Lindsey has done something and I don't know how to handle it. I just need to talk to somebody who knows my kid."  The tone in their voices is usually a mix of sadness, disappointment, and sometimes panic.

This call came from a parent who has always impressed me. In my interactions with her and her daughter, I have felt that she parented in a very balanced, wise and caring way. But even good parents go through moments when they have used all the tools at their disposal and they don't know what to do next. In those moments, it is helpful to be able to talk out your problem with a fellow parent, a therapist, or a friend.

There are also some good books, articles, and blogs that can help parents navigate parenting teens. One that I have found to be helpful is a blog called Understanding Teenagers. The author Chris Hudson gives practical advice.

Your teen is bound to mess up, to disobey, and to lie to you at some point. How do you handle that?

Chris points out, "Good discipline is educative and restorative rather than punitive. There should be consequences for betraying trust, but they need to be connected to and in proportion to the breach committed. "

When your teen does violate a boundary you have set with them, Chris mentions the following things which are helpful to consider:

  • Listen to what your teenager has to say before making any judgments 
  • Don’t respond out of anger or a desire to punish, take a few deep breaths and calm down before passing sentence 
  • Only make consequences that you can follow through with or they won’t work 
  • What might work for one young person might not work for another  
  • Set consequences that can be enacted quickly and provide your teenager a chance to try again, e.g. “You came home very late after we agreed on a time, so tomorrow I will pick you up” 

Parenting is one of the hardest jobs out there. Be patient with yourself as you parent. You are not going to get it right every time. Sometimes you will yell at your kids and then feel like a jerk. Welcome to parenthood. Surround yourself with others who have been there and can support you as you walk through this journey of parenting.

You may not be able to read the Rosetta Stone, but if you need help trying to read your teen or pre-teen, I recommend checking out some of the articles on the Understanding Teenagers Blog.  

Happy Parenting! You are doing important work.

If you are struggling with pain or feeling stuck in your life, professional counseling can help. You can contact our Houston therapists by phone at 713 - 591 -3612, via email at nancy @ wilsoncounsleing. org or visit the Wilson Counseling website at  to find out more. Help is just a phone call away!


Popular posts from this blog

Letting go of broken relationships

One of my Houston clients brought in this picture of a naked woman embracing a skeleton. She told me it had moved her deeply and spoke to her in a way that words could not. For this client, it was a visual depiction of a relationship she was holding onto with a man who could never really give her what she needed. When he would call her, she experienced a rush of happiness. But when he ignored her for days or weeks, she was forlorn and hopeless. She questioned herself and wondered why she was not more attractive to him. She was sure that if she were prettier, or smarter, or better in some way, he would be more interested. And she hated herself for not being able to just move on despite knowing the relationship was broken and lifeless. 
Seeing all of this depicted in this image communicated directly to her heart what was really going on. She was holding onto a man who was emotionally dead, unable to give back or love, or share in any satisfying way. She felt disgusted at the thought. Th…

Worried about the Coronavirus? 5 Tips For Feeling Less Anxious

If you are tuned into the news, you are hearing about the coronavirus, repeatedly. And you may be starting to feel anxious about possible outbreaks. Your fear is understandable, but it may not be helpful. As with everything, you actually have a lot of control over how you feel. You just need the right tools to keep your anxiety in check.

So before you go into pandemic panic, there are a few things that will help. 
1. Get accurate information
First, get accurate information about the virus. Not everything you read is accurate. The CDC is always a reliable source for information. You can read about common myths and facts about the virus on their website. A friend of mine shared this post and I found it really put things in perspective for me. 
2. Turn off the news & social media
Second, spend less time watching the news and reading social media posts about the virus. The more time you spend pondering the virus, the more panicked you are likely to feel. It will keep your mind stuck …

Loneliness and the Coronavirus - Ways to Stay Connected While Social Distancing

We Are Social Creatures And We Require Human Connection
We have been social distancing for a couple of weeks and even for the introverts, it can start to feel lonely. We are social creatures. All of us. We create meaning in groups. We have identity in groups. We are tethered and grounded in our interactions with people. Right now, those things have been ripped away from us.

Even if we can't be physically near people, it does not mean we have to be in solitary confinement. That will feel like torture. In fact, it is not coincidence that they use solitary confinement as a means of punishment for prisoners. But this is not prison (though it sometimes feels like a prison of the mind). If you are feeling lonely during the coronavirus pandemic, what can you do to connect with people?

Ideas to Help You Connect While Social Distancing Zoom Party  This works for birthday parties, happy hours, trivia. You name it, it can be done over zoom, or FaceTime, or any other virtual tool made for me…