Promoting Positive Teen Decision-Making

Teens tend to think they know *everything* #AmIRight!?

Image:  Pexels

Image: Pexels

Warning-  I'm about to nerd out for a hot second...

In developmental psychology, we talk about a process called Individuation. This is the time period where children begin to separate their identity less and less from their parents/families and more and more towards their peer group. This is totally normal, and actually pretty healthy.

The Problem

The problem occurs when what teens think is best doesn't match up with what we know is best. After all, we were all teens once too!

Because teens are going through this Individuation phase, if you try to tell them what is best, they tend to tune us out and resist- even if they agree. It can be soooooo frustrating!!!!

The Solution

Involve your teen in decision making

Want your teen to be more organized about completing their homework? Ask them what strategies they've already tried and what they think could help.

Want your teen to eat more healthy? Ask them to choose from a list of healthy meal/snack ideas and invite them to be part of the cooking and/or food-shopping process.

You may be pleasantly surprised by some of the plans and decisions they come up with! Whatever you do, please, please, please resist the urge to tell them your strategies first!

After they've shared their ideas with you, then you can share your experiences and strategies. I suggest using the following phrasing as a template "You know when I've struggled with xyz I found 123 to be helpful"

Want even more positive influences in your teen's life? Teen Girls Therapy Group is enrolling a new group of motivated girls on Wednesdays at 4:30pm starting this winter!

If you want to secure your teen's spot- complete your complimentary 15-min parent phone screening at 203-228-8971 or completing the contact form here.

Mallory Grimste, LCSW - Teen Therapist

Mental Health Counseling for Anxious Tweens, Teens, and Young Adults | Woodbridge, CT