Positive Parenting Solutions
Jane Nelsen, the author of the Positive Discipline books and founder of the positive discipline movement reveals some positive parenting strategies for rebellious and defiant teenagers. Get your teen under control without punishing and lecturing them with these great tips.
Full Show Notes
Jane Nelsen is famous for her Positive Discipline books and seminars, which teach parents how to control their children without using punishments, threats, or other negative tactics. Her positive parenting strategies are used by thousands of parents around the world.
But do these positive parenting strategies work on teenagers?
This week on the podcast, I spoke with Jane Nelsen about how you can apply these strategies with today’s tech-focused teenagers.
She had some amazing tips.
The foundation of Jane Nelsen’s approach is the idea that all kids want to feel two things within their family: belonging and significance. When teens don’t feel like they are loved and needed within the family, they check out and rebel. The positive parenting strategies Jane teaches in her workshops all focus on building a sense of belonging and significance in kids.
Positive Parenting Solutions for Teens
When teens act out, they are misbehaving because they mistakenly believe that doing so will help them feel a greater sense of belonging and significance within the family. Jane Nelsen refers to this as “mistaken goals”. When you can understand which of these mistaken goals is driving your teenager to act out, the positive parenting solutions will make more sense to you.
There are four different types of mistaken goals.
1. Undue Attention
These teens can make you feel annoyed, irritated, and guilty with their constant need for attention. They mistakenly believe that they are only significant to you when you are focusing your attention on them. They only feel like they belong when they are the center of attention.
The second type of teen can make you feel angry, provoked, and threatened with their constant challenges and power struggles. They mistakenly believe they are only significant when they are the boss. They only feel like they belong when they are in charge and are getting their way.
The next type of mistaken goal that teens can pursue is revenge. These teens feel like it’s your fault that they don’t belong and aren’t significant within their family. They mistakenly believe they have to get back at you for excluding them. These teens purposely try to hurt you.
4. Assumed Inadequacy
The final type of mistaken goal happens when a teen feels like they don’t belong and aren’t significant within their family because they are bad or because they are a failure. These teens have stopped trying to feel significance and belonging and have given up. They just want to be left alone.
So, which type of mistaken goal does your teen most often display?
These four mistaken goals are described in a lot more detail in Jane Nelsen’s newest book, Positive Discipline for Today’s Busy (and Overworked) Parent. She breaks down the psychology behind each of these mistaken goals and the positive parenting strategies that you can use to stop your teen from behaving in this way.
Tips from Jane Nelsen
During our interview, Jane revealed some proven positive parenting strategies that work with every type of teenager. For instance, she told me how you can get teens to follow through with every commitment they set without making them angry. She also told me how to get teens doing more chores around the house by showing them how it will help them feel significant.
Don’t miss these powerful positive parenting strategies from Jane Nelsen, one of the top parenting experts alive today.
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Word-for-word examples of WHAT to say to your teen
1. When your teen yells at you, respond by being kind then firm:
“I know how disappointing it is to you that your uniform isn’t clean. And I have faith in you to remember to put it in the laundry in the future.”
2. Tell your teen no using the kind then firm approach:
3. If your teen is questioning the importance of school or considering dropping out:
4. When your teen is thinking about drinking for the first time:
Step-by-step guides for applying the ideas from this interview
1. Get Exact Agreement from Your Teen Beforehand:
One of the reasons that parents can often fall into nagging is that they fail to obtain exact agreement from the teenager about what they are going to do and when they are going to have it done by. But Jane told me that when you get agreement beforehand you don’t have to nag at all. You can simply wait until the agreed upon time and then gently ask your teen, “what was our agreement?” If they resist, all you have to do is put a hand on their shoulder and give them “the look”. They will eventually sigh and go do what the promised. The key is to get their agreement down to the exact time. On a piece of paper, write down something you’d like you teen to do today, like unloading the dishwasher or doing the laundry. Next, write down why this task is important and the time you’ll need it done by. Finally, write why you need it done by that time. This has to be a legitimate reason. For instance, if you want your teen to unload the dishwasher, the reason might be that it’s not fair for you to cook dinner every night AND clean it up. The time you need it unloaded by might be 4pm. And the reason it has to be done by then might be because that’s when you’re going to start cooking tonight’s dinner and you need clean dishes in order to do that. Now go relay these four pieces of information to your teen and make sure get a verbal “yes” that they agree to have it done by the time you say.
2. Get Your Teen Involved More Around the House:
3. Uncover the Mistaken Goals Behind Your Teen’s Behavior:
About Jane Nelsen
The author of the bestselling Positive Discipline books, Jane Nelsen is one of the leading experts on positive parenting strategies alive today. Her doctorate degree in Educational Psychology from the University of San Francisco in 1979 is secondary to the education and experience she achieved from her successes and failures as a mother of seven children.
She now shares this wealth of knowledge and experience as a popular keynote speaker and workshop leader throughout the country. Jane is very well received by school districts, teacher organizations, conferences, and parent education networks throughout the world.
Letters come in daily from parents and teachers worldwide who have had much success with the principles outlined in her books, workshops, and lectures.
She has appeared on Oprah, Sally Jessy Raphael, and Twin Cities Live, and was the featured parent expert on the National Parent Quiz with Ben Vereen.