Sensing something is "off" with your teen

Educator & Author Michael Riera, PhD, explains why it is important for parents to follow their intuition when you are concerned and sense something is "off" with your teen
Advice For Parenting Teens - Sensing Something Is Off With Your Teen
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Sensing something is "off" with your teen

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One of the things that parents make a mistake on is if their intuition is that something is off with their teenager, they think they have to have proof. You have to find the cigarettes. You have to find the alcohol. You have to find the sites that they go online and look at. The reality is that your intuition is enough, as a parent. It is usually right. The conversation can be with your daughter, "Something doesn't feel right. Is there something different about this? It just doesn't quite feel right." Then watch the reaction. Many times they will look down and around and, in a high voice, "No, everything is okay." This is when you sit and get comfortable. Say, "No, sit down. Tell me, what is going on? Where are you going tonight? You need to trust me a little and give me some information." We need to use our own intuition and it will be enough to start the conversation with our kids. Sometimes it will be about serious issues. "Are you using drugs?" "No, no, I'm not." But it's out there in the open and can be discussed later. Later on, we can come back to this. If we ignore our intuition, our kids expect us to know everything about them and we don't. When we voice things, we are not going to offend them. When we are concerned, "You are going to this party and something doesn't feel right." They are going to say, "Mom, you don't trust me at all." They will say that, but inside they will say, "She's noticing," and that's a good thing. With parents, I'm always encouraging them to check in with their intuition and share it with their teenager. Don't make it an accusation, but make it a question. More often, you will hit the mark. Sometimes you will hit the mark and they will deny it, but they will change the behavior. You'll never know until their Sophomore year in college, when they come back and tell you.

Educator & Author Michael Riera, PhD, explains why it is important for parents to follow their intuition when you are concerned and sense something is "off" with your teen

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Michael Riera, PhD

Head Of School, Brentwood School

Michael Riera, PhD, Educator, Author, Media Personality, and Speaker. Michael Riera is the Head of School at the Brentwood School, best-selling author, award-winning columnist, educator, television commentator, and national speaker on issues of children, adolescents, families, and parenting. Mike is the author of Right From Wrong: instilling a Sense of integrity in Our Children, Field Guide to the American Teenager, Uncommon Sense For Parents With Teenagers, and Surviving High School. His most recent book, Staying Connected To Your Teenager, was launched with three appearances on Oprah! For eight years he was the Family Consultant for CBS The Saturday Morning Early Show and also hosted an award winning television show on the Oxygen Network, Life in Progress, as well as his own daily radio show, Family Talk with Dr. Mike. Mike has worked in schools for over 20 years as a head of school, counselor, dean of students, teacher and consultant. 

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