Parenting Teenagers: Starve the Control Beast

“Parenting teenagers is so hard! How do you do it?” We get that question a lot, and people wonder how our family meetings and huddles have changed as our three children have progressed into their teenage years. I tell those people that I’m thankful that we’ve created a culture of communication in our home that’s anchored by our values, and that our meetings and huddles are still vital parts of our family culture.

However, if you have teenage children it goes without saying — the “drama” (or for the sake of staying positive, the “debates”) seem to be never-ending. We’ve worked for years to teach our children the importance of taking responsibility, but at times as they are dealing with life as a teenager, those lessons seem to fly right out the window. Yes, just in case you were wondering, we’ve continued to remain Imperfect Parents!

And we know we’re not alone. One of the great pleasures we’ve had in publishing our book is the great conversations and new relationships we’ve had with other authors and professionals in the field of family and parenting.

Imperfect Parenting

Parenting Teenagers: Starve the Control Beast

Recently, we were fortunate to have been introduced to Ending the Parent-Teen Control Battle, by Neil D. Brown, LCSW, a psychotherapist who has worked with families, couples, and individuals for over 30 years. Neil knows a lot about parenting teenagers, and he doesn’t just tell you what to do — he does an amazing job showing parents HOW to starve the control battle beast between them and their teenagers.

Importantly, but not surprisingly, it all starts with us as parents, and Neil highlights three critical examples of where parents have to “go first.” We must first remember to respond, not react, which we know and appreciate is easier said than done. Next, we must focus on our teenagers’ perspectives, so we can teach them to focus on ours. Remember, do as I say and as I do. Finally, Neil stresses having a positive tone in every way we communicate.

Neil’s book provides many more tips and pointers and there’s so much more I can say about it, but I don’t want to give it away, so visit Neil’s site and pick up a copy! We’ve already started to implement many of his ideas in our home and have found some progress in starving the control beast with our teenage children. If you’re looking for a great book on parenting teenagers, look no further.


Want to learn more about our book, How Imperfect Parents Lead Great FamiliesDownload our Pocket Guide — a “CliffsNotes” version of our book that gives you a handy, downloadable, and printable guide to use on your journey towards a happier, more cohesive, and better-communicating family.

Author: Dale W. Vernon
Dale, a business and investment advisor and professed imperfect father of three children, is co-author of How Imperfect Parents Lead Great Families. He is a frequent speaker about the importance of establishing family values, creating a culture of communication in your home and being an intentional parent that understands the importance of being the best example you can for your children.
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