Ep 51: Hack Your Parenting
Susan Groner, founder of the Parenting Mentor, shares her wisdom and parenting “hacks” with us. Discover my favorite tips from Susan’s latest book Parenting: 101 Ways to Rock Your World, and Susan’s #1 reason why fights break out between parents and teens. Plus, what to say instead of “Because I said so.”
Full Show Notes
Do parenting books just make you feel like you’re doing a terrible job? That’s exactly how Susan Groner, the Parenting Mentor, felt. So when she was asked to write Parenting: 101 Ways to Rock You World she became determined to make it a feel-good and easy read.
This week on the podcast, we brought Susan on to share some of her best parenting hacks. I like Susan’s advice a lot because it’s all practical! Her book is packed with 101 tips, tricks, and hacks for “Parenting with Sanity and Joy.” During our interview, I asked her to explain some of my favorite hacks from the book and she even ended up sharing a few killer strategies that don’t appear in there.
In this episode we cover:
- How to turn “because I said so” into a learning opportunity for your teen
- why it’s never too late to start family traditions
- “getting out of the rescue business”
- how to turn chores into “contributions”
- the #1 cause, according to Susan, that parent-teen fights break out
Through Susan’s business The Parenting Mentor, she has honed her own method for helping coach parents through the tough times, known as the CLEARR System. She shares some practical tips for responding to teens with empathy and solution-focused conversations. Rather than jumping in and trying to fix all the problems in your teen’s world, Susan recommends taking a step back and asking them what they could do to improve things.
Of course, that can be much easier said than done.
Learn how Susan’s CLEARR system works and come along with me as I dive into my favorite tactics from her book.
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Word-for-word examples of WHAT to say to your teen
1. When your teen questions your rules:
“Well let’s talk about that. Because you don’t agree and you think it’s crazy, I want you to know where I’m coming from.”
2. Your teen slams the front door when they get home from school:
3. If your teen comes to you about something that went wrong try:
4. When your teen tries and fails, keep it simple:
5. Instead of “how was your day?” try:
Step-by-step guides for applying the ideas from this interview
1. Get Out of the “Rescue Business”:
Susan discussed with me how she “got out of the rescue business” with her own daughter. Rather than jumping to action every time our teens need “rescuing” Susan suggests parents get out of the rescue business. And not just for your own sanity! Having to solve problems or face the consequences can help teens develop problem-solving skills and resilience in the face of difficulty. Recall one or two times this past week where you “rescued” your teen or they asked you to “rescue” them. These “rescues” should be smaller things that could have been avoided by your teen, like when your teen asked you for a ride because they didn’t get ready fast enough to catch the bus, or when they texted you to bring their lunch to school because they forgot it. On a piece of paper, write down what would have happened if you had declined to “rescue” them. Were the consequences as dire as they seemed in the moment? Maybe they would have had to pay for an Uber out of their allowance or been a little hungry for a few hours at school. Now write down what you could say to you teen to decline. Using the following formula:
EMPATHY + DECLINE + “set the bar high” + ADVICE OFFER[Example: That really stinks that the shirt you bought doesn’t fit right. + I won’t be able to return it for you, + but I know you’re resourceful enough to figure out a solution. + If you want help brainstorming ideas, I’m here.]
2. Creating New Family Traditions:
3. Because “Because I Said So” Never Works with Teens…:
About Susan Groner
Susan Groner founded and currently operates The Parenting Mentor, where she coaches parents through the tough and the joyful times of having kids.
When faced with the challenges of motherhood, Susan was overwhelmed. Having always been confident in her abilities in her professional work, she was confounded with problem-solving at home.
Through her experience as a mother to three (now grown) children, Susan came to find what was essential for making the most of childrearing: Communication, Love, Empathy, Awareness, Rules, and Respect. Or, her CLEARR™ method, which she utilizes in her coaching practice.
Her latest book is Parenting: 101 Ways to Rock Your World, has been noted as the “perfect parenting book for parents who don’t have time to read parenting books”!