If you’re a parent who wishes to connect better with your teen, you’ll have to have elements of friendship in your relationship. The parents who know how to listen well and care about what their kids care about seem to also have authority. The parents I see in therapy who just try and control behavior with discipline have either a rebellious teen, or one who doesn’t share much with them. If you really want to influence how your teen thinks, their moral compass, and their ability to make decisions later in life without you, you have to be in their hearts. They need to learn to think and feel through hard things, and that’s impossible if you use your emotional muscle to prevent them from making mistakes.
Helping teens grow and families improve connection,
Lauren Goodman, MS, MFT