Seminar Date: April 8, 2015

Richard B. Cohen LMFT, MAC, CDVC, CCBT explained techniques on “How To Effectively Confront Your Teen” at the Of One Mind parent seminar this week. Richard shared the importance of explaining to your children the rules you want in your home. It’s also essential that the rules of the game precede the game, so that expectations and consequences can be set and understood in advance. Richard suggested that when working an issue out with children, parents should let the child go first. Richard stressed the importance of not interrupting while the other person is speaking in order to gain the same respect when you speak. Perhaps the most important things a parent can do to help their communication when confronting their child is to stay calm and be consistent, predictable and trustworthy. This creates a safe environment for discussion. When things escalate, no one gets heard. In fact Richard told parents that they should end the discussion if the child is yelling or not behaving appropriately and only continue again when things are calm. If your child refuses to talk to you about what you need to talk about, Richard suggested not giving them what they want either, until they are ready to participate with you. In order to parent like this, the parent also needs to make sure they can keep their own emotions in check. It’s important for parents to know their own hot buttons so that they don’t over react when the child pushes them. Richard also explained how everyone is only responsible for their own behavior. Thus we should all use “I” statements to talk about our feelings, thoughts, needs, wants, and decisions. To use the word “I” is to be assertive. Richard said that the word “You” is not only more aggressive but less effective than the “I” statement. Again, because the only one I can truly control is myself and my reaction to what “you” do. Richard also spoke of the importance of explaining your thinking to your children. You don’t want them to just follow what you say. You want your children to understand your logic and thinking so that they too can make good decisions when they are not with you.

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