Last week we talked some about giving advice to our teenagers. In that blog post, our challange was to create an environment that pushes our teens to become decision makers for themselves. To continue with the theme of that post, here are some further thoughts on advice and your teen:
1. Before you give your adivice it’s always wise to ask if they want to hear it first. Better yet, offer your advice only when asked. If they say, “yes please” then go ahead and give them your thoughts about the situation. If they say “no”, respect their decision and keep quiet, unless you see them heading towards real danger that could risk their health, wellbeing, or life.
2. Provide information that can help to direct their thoughts on the situation that they are dealing with. Directing your teen to a source of information that’s neutral allows your teen access to information without having to agree to your point of view.
3. It is important to give your teen time. Just because your teen hasn’t asked for advice doesn’t mean they’re ignoring your potential input. Remind them that if you can help with anything thats on their mind you’re always there. Give them time to go away and think about asking you for that advice. It is important to create a safe environment for our teens to feel as though they can approach us for help.
4. Highlight their qualities. Reminding teens of their strengths will focus their minds on choosing options that make the best of them. If you focus on their weaknesses, you’ll do two things. They’re likely to lose confidence in doing anything, and you will run the risk of them not asking for your advice in the future.
5. Listen to your teen. Often just listening to your teen without interrupting will show you that you don’t even need to give advice; your teen may already have a solution.
I hope that these thoughts help you as you continue to walk in this journey of parenting your teen!