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Five Nuggets of Wisdom for Building a Better Relationship With Your Teen, Straight From the Experts

Nugget #1 from Shelby Garay, NBC-HC, FMCHC

“If we aren't taking care of ourselves in really fundamental ways, we can't possibly show up as our best selves for our teenagers."

In the second lesson of the workshop, Shelby introduces parents to the research and practice of true self-care. Much of it can be summed up through the oxygen mask analogy: if parents can’t breathe, they can’t possibly help their kids. Shelby explains that practicing the communication and relationship skills demonstrated in the workshop requires parents feeling adequately resourced, physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

Shelby goes on to explain how self-care is not about spas or vacations (though there’s nothing wrong with these). Instead, self-care is about engaging in practices that increase our capacity to show up with our full, authentic selves. She concludes by outlining dozens of self-care practices, across the four Thrive Pillars, that are known to increase our capacity in body, mind, heart, and spirit.  

Nugget #2 from Jena Curtis, EdD, Professor of Gender & Sexuality, SUNY Cortland

“Teen behavior can seem downright bizarre. But once we understand what's happening in their developing brains, we can start communicating and connecting on a deeper level."

In the third lesson, Jena Curtis answers the question: why are the teen years so challenging? It all has to do with the totally normal developmental stage of the adolescent brain. While these growing teens are obviously not children anymore, they’re not adults either. And the same goes for their brains.

While teens are able to think in much more complex ways, they still lack the emotional regulation, behavioral awareness, and long-term thinking of adulthood. Jena explains that once we understand the developmental reasons for our teen’s behavior, we can anticipate the bizarre behavior and take it less personally. And when we’re less triggered, we can start to use the communication and relationship skills from this workshop in more intentional and effective ways.

Nugget #3 from Alicia Samaniego Wuth, PsyD, Clinical Psychologist and Director of Mental & Emotional Health, The Family Thrive

"It might seem too simple to do anything at all, but learning how to slow down when arguments heat up can change everything."

In lesson five, Alicia describes the power of slowing down and getting curious with our teens. This seemingly simple skill has so many benefits. It allows us to catch our breath and become aware of what’s happening with our emotions and in our bodies. We can take a deep breath and calm our nervous systems instead of getting carried away in the rapid back-and-forth of arguing.

Once we’re in this calmer state, we can start getting curious about why we’re triggered and why our teen is triggered. This slower state of curiosity is a game-changer. It lets your teen know that you’re here to connect and really get them, not just control them and make their life hard.

Nugget #4 from Jenny Walters, LMFT, Marriage and Family Therapist

"Validating is not the same as condoning or agreeing; it's letting your teen know that their feelings make sense and you're here to connect, not correct."

In lesson seven, Jenny explains that real, healthy validation is letting another person know that you get them and what they’re feeling makes sense. It can be really hard for parents to validate their teen’s thoughts and feelings if we just want to fix their problems or correct their behavior.

But Jenny does an amazing job in the workshop describing how calming and connecting it can be to feel seen and heard. She also gives us three steps for parents to follow to become better at validating their teen’s thoughts and feelings. Finally, she helps us navigate the tricky waters of validating in the context of behaviors we disapprove of.

Nugget #5 from Vanessa Baker, Parent+Teen Relationship Coach

"The hard truth is that we can't truly accept our teens as they are until we as parents accept ourselves as we are."

In lesson eight, Vanessa introduces us to the counterintuitive power of acceptance. As parents, a lot of our early work with our kids is about NOT accepting them as they are: they need to learn to walk and talk and share and grow in countless different ways. But as kids begin to grow into adolescence, our job as parents begins to shift. We need to move more and more into unconditional acceptance.

Vanessa shows us how challenging this can be because parents cannot accept their kids as they are until parents accept themselves as they are. She shows us how conditional love (I’ll only show you full acceptance if you …) can cause anxiety and depression, how it can lead to a sense of rejection, and how it can ultimately lead to relationships completely breaking down.

Vanessa closes the lesson with a beautiful story about her own journey with accepting her daughter exactly as she is, even when it triggers judgment and fear.

Written by The Family Thrive Expert Team

Explore Thriving Through the Teen Years: Building and Keeping a Deep Loving Relationship With Your Teenager here. If you sign up before October 17th, you’ll have access to a parent health coach and live group sessions.

Five Nuggets of Wisdom for Building a Better Relationship With Your Teen, Straight From the Experts

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Five Nuggets of Wisdom for Building a Better Relationship With Your Teen, Straight From the Experts

This week, we're highlighting five nuggets of wisdom from Thriving Through the Teen Years. It’s just a little taste of what you’ll get from this relationship-transforming 3-week workshop.

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Key takeaways

1

We’re launching our first 10x10 Workshop called Thriving Through the Teen Years: Building and Keeping a Deep, Loving Relationship with Your Teenager

2

We’ve brought together nine experts to create lessons full of powerful communication and relationship tools that will transform your relationship with your teen

3

Today, we’re highlighting five nuggets of wisdom from the 3-week workshop

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Nugget #1 from Shelby Garay, NBC-HC, FMCHC

“If we aren't taking care of ourselves in really fundamental ways, we can't possibly show up as our best selves for our teenagers."

In the second lesson of the workshop, Shelby introduces parents to the research and practice of true self-care. Much of it can be summed up through the oxygen mask analogy: if parents can’t breathe, they can’t possibly help their kids. Shelby explains that practicing the communication and relationship skills demonstrated in the workshop requires parents feeling adequately resourced, physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

Shelby goes on to explain how self-care is not about spas or vacations (though there’s nothing wrong with these). Instead, self-care is about engaging in practices that increase our capacity to show up with our full, authentic selves. She concludes by outlining dozens of self-care practices, across the four Thrive Pillars, that are known to increase our capacity in body, mind, heart, and spirit.  

Nugget #2 from Jena Curtis, EdD, Professor of Gender & Sexuality, SUNY Cortland

“Teen behavior can seem downright bizarre. But once we understand what's happening in their developing brains, we can start communicating and connecting on a deeper level."

In the third lesson, Jena Curtis answers the question: why are the teen years so challenging? It all has to do with the totally normal developmental stage of the adolescent brain. While these growing teens are obviously not children anymore, they’re not adults either. And the same goes for their brains.

While teens are able to think in much more complex ways, they still lack the emotional regulation, behavioral awareness, and long-term thinking of adulthood. Jena explains that once we understand the developmental reasons for our teen’s behavior, we can anticipate the bizarre behavior and take it less personally. And when we’re less triggered, we can start to use the communication and relationship skills from this workshop in more intentional and effective ways.

Nugget #3 from Alicia Samaniego Wuth, PsyD, Clinical Psychologist and Director of Mental & Emotional Health, The Family Thrive

"It might seem too simple to do anything at all, but learning how to slow down when arguments heat up can change everything."

In lesson five, Alicia describes the power of slowing down and getting curious with our teens. This seemingly simple skill has so many benefits. It allows us to catch our breath and become aware of what’s happening with our emotions and in our bodies. We can take a deep breath and calm our nervous systems instead of getting carried away in the rapid back-and-forth of arguing.

Once we’re in this calmer state, we can start getting curious about why we’re triggered and why our teen is triggered. This slower state of curiosity is a game-changer. It lets your teen know that you’re here to connect and really get them, not just control them and make their life hard.

Nugget #4 from Jenny Walters, LMFT, Marriage and Family Therapist

"Validating is not the same as condoning or agreeing; it's letting your teen know that their feelings make sense and you're here to connect, not correct."

In lesson seven, Jenny explains that real, healthy validation is letting another person know that you get them and what they’re feeling makes sense. It can be really hard for parents to validate their teen’s thoughts and feelings if we just want to fix their problems or correct their behavior.

But Jenny does an amazing job in the workshop describing how calming and connecting it can be to feel seen and heard. She also gives us three steps for parents to follow to become better at validating their teen’s thoughts and feelings. Finally, she helps us navigate the tricky waters of validating in the context of behaviors we disapprove of.

Nugget #5 from Vanessa Baker, Parent+Teen Relationship Coach

"The hard truth is that we can't truly accept our teens as they are until we as parents accept ourselves as we are."

In lesson eight, Vanessa introduces us to the counterintuitive power of acceptance. As parents, a lot of our early work with our kids is about NOT accepting them as they are: they need to learn to walk and talk and share and grow in countless different ways. But as kids begin to grow into adolescence, our job as parents begins to shift. We need to move more and more into unconditional acceptance.

Vanessa shows us how challenging this can be because parents cannot accept their kids as they are until parents accept themselves as they are. She shows us how conditional love (I’ll only show you full acceptance if you …) can cause anxiety and depression, how it can lead to a sense of rejection, and how it can ultimately lead to relationships completely breaking down.

Vanessa closes the lesson with a beautiful story about her own journey with accepting her daughter exactly as she is, even when it triggers judgment and fear.

Written by The Family Thrive Expert Team

Explore Thriving Through the Teen Years: Building and Keeping a Deep Loving Relationship With Your Teenager here. If you sign up before October 17th, you’ll have access to a parent health coach and live group sessions.

Nugget #1 from Shelby Garay, NBC-HC, FMCHC

“If we aren't taking care of ourselves in really fundamental ways, we can't possibly show up as our best selves for our teenagers."

In the second lesson of the workshop, Shelby introduces parents to the research and practice of true self-care. Much of it can be summed up through the oxygen mask analogy: if parents can’t breathe, they can’t possibly help their kids. Shelby explains that practicing the communication and relationship skills demonstrated in the workshop requires parents feeling adequately resourced, physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

Shelby goes on to explain how self-care is not about spas or vacations (though there’s nothing wrong with these). Instead, self-care is about engaging in practices that increase our capacity to show up with our full, authentic selves. She concludes by outlining dozens of self-care practices, across the four Thrive Pillars, that are known to increase our capacity in body, mind, heart, and spirit.  

Nugget #2 from Jena Curtis, EdD, Professor of Gender & Sexuality, SUNY Cortland

“Teen behavior can seem downright bizarre. But once we understand what's happening in their developing brains, we can start communicating and connecting on a deeper level."

In the third lesson, Jena Curtis answers the question: why are the teen years so challenging? It all has to do with the totally normal developmental stage of the adolescent brain. While these growing teens are obviously not children anymore, they’re not adults either. And the same goes for their brains.

While teens are able to think in much more complex ways, they still lack the emotional regulation, behavioral awareness, and long-term thinking of adulthood. Jena explains that once we understand the developmental reasons for our teen’s behavior, we can anticipate the bizarre behavior and take it less personally. And when we’re less triggered, we can start to use the communication and relationship skills from this workshop in more intentional and effective ways.

Nugget #3 from Alicia Samaniego Wuth, PsyD, Clinical Psychologist and Director of Mental & Emotional Health, The Family Thrive

"It might seem too simple to do anything at all, but learning how to slow down when arguments heat up can change everything."

In lesson five, Alicia describes the power of slowing down and getting curious with our teens. This seemingly simple skill has so many benefits. It allows us to catch our breath and become aware of what’s happening with our emotions and in our bodies. We can take a deep breath and calm our nervous systems instead of getting carried away in the rapid back-and-forth of arguing.

Once we’re in this calmer state, we can start getting curious about why we’re triggered and why our teen is triggered. This slower state of curiosity is a game-changer. It lets your teen know that you’re here to connect and really get them, not just control them and make their life hard.

Nugget #4 from Jenny Walters, LMFT, Marriage and Family Therapist

"Validating is not the same as condoning or agreeing; it's letting your teen know that their feelings make sense and you're here to connect, not correct."

In lesson seven, Jenny explains that real, healthy validation is letting another person know that you get them and what they’re feeling makes sense. It can be really hard for parents to validate their teen’s thoughts and feelings if we just want to fix their problems or correct their behavior.

But Jenny does an amazing job in the workshop describing how calming and connecting it can be to feel seen and heard. She also gives us three steps for parents to follow to become better at validating their teen’s thoughts and feelings. Finally, she helps us navigate the tricky waters of validating in the context of behaviors we disapprove of.

Nugget #5 from Vanessa Baker, Parent+Teen Relationship Coach

"The hard truth is that we can't truly accept our teens as they are until we as parents accept ourselves as we are."

In lesson eight, Vanessa introduces us to the counterintuitive power of acceptance. As parents, a lot of our early work with our kids is about NOT accepting them as they are: they need to learn to walk and talk and share and grow in countless different ways. But as kids begin to grow into adolescence, our job as parents begins to shift. We need to move more and more into unconditional acceptance.

Vanessa shows us how challenging this can be because parents cannot accept their kids as they are until parents accept themselves as they are. She shows us how conditional love (I’ll only show you full acceptance if you …) can cause anxiety and depression, how it can lead to a sense of rejection, and how it can ultimately lead to relationships completely breaking down.

Vanessa closes the lesson with a beautiful story about her own journey with accepting her daughter exactly as she is, even when it triggers judgment and fear.

Written by The Family Thrive Expert Team

Explore Thriving Through the Teen Years: Building and Keeping a Deep Loving Relationship With Your Teenager here. If you sign up before October 17th, you’ll have access to a parent health coach and live group sessions.

Nugget #1 from Shelby Garay, NBC-HC, FMCHC

“If we aren't taking care of ourselves in really fundamental ways, we can't possibly show up as our best selves for our teenagers."

In the second lesson of the workshop, Shelby introduces parents to the research and practice of true self-care. Much of it can be summed up through the oxygen mask analogy: if parents can’t breathe, they can’t possibly help their kids. Shelby explains that practicing the communication and relationship skills demonstrated in the workshop requires parents feeling adequately resourced, physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

Shelby goes on to explain how self-care is not about spas or vacations (though there’s nothing wrong with these). Instead, self-care is about engaging in practices that increase our capacity to show up with our full, authentic selves. She concludes by outlining dozens of self-care practices, across the four Thrive Pillars, that are known to increase our capacity in body, mind, heart, and spirit.  

Nugget #2 from Jena Curtis, EdD, Professor of Gender & Sexuality, SUNY Cortland

“Teen behavior can seem downright bizarre. But once we understand what's happening in their developing brains, we can start communicating and connecting on a deeper level."

In the third lesson, Jena Curtis answers the question: why are the teen years so challenging? It all has to do with the totally normal developmental stage of the adolescent brain. While these growing teens are obviously not children anymore, they’re not adults either. And the same goes for their brains.

While teens are able to think in much more complex ways, they still lack the emotional regulation, behavioral awareness, and long-term thinking of adulthood. Jena explains that once we understand the developmental reasons for our teen’s behavior, we can anticipate the bizarre behavior and take it less personally. And when we’re less triggered, we can start to use the communication and relationship skills from this workshop in more intentional and effective ways.

Nugget #3 from Alicia Samaniego Wuth, PsyD, Clinical Psychologist and Director of Mental & Emotional Health, The Family Thrive

"It might seem too simple to do anything at all, but learning how to slow down when arguments heat up can change everything."

In lesson five, Alicia describes the power of slowing down and getting curious with our teens. This seemingly simple skill has so many benefits. It allows us to catch our breath and become aware of what’s happening with our emotions and in our bodies. We can take a deep breath and calm our nervous systems instead of getting carried away in the rapid back-and-forth of arguing.

Once we’re in this calmer state, we can start getting curious about why we’re triggered and why our teen is triggered. This slower state of curiosity is a game-changer. It lets your teen know that you’re here to connect and really get them, not just control them and make their life hard.

Nugget #4 from Jenny Walters, LMFT, Marriage and Family Therapist

"Validating is not the same as condoning or agreeing; it's letting your teen know that their feelings make sense and you're here to connect, not correct."

In lesson seven, Jenny explains that real, healthy validation is letting another person know that you get them and what they’re feeling makes sense. It can be really hard for parents to validate their teen’s thoughts and feelings if we just want to fix their problems or correct their behavior.

But Jenny does an amazing job in the workshop describing how calming and connecting it can be to feel seen and heard. She also gives us three steps for parents to follow to become better at validating their teen’s thoughts and feelings. Finally, she helps us navigate the tricky waters of validating in the context of behaviors we disapprove of.

Nugget #5 from Vanessa Baker, Parent+Teen Relationship Coach

"The hard truth is that we can't truly accept our teens as they are until we as parents accept ourselves as we are."

In lesson eight, Vanessa introduces us to the counterintuitive power of acceptance. As parents, a lot of our early work with our kids is about NOT accepting them as they are: they need to learn to walk and talk and share and grow in countless different ways. But as kids begin to grow into adolescence, our job as parents begins to shift. We need to move more and more into unconditional acceptance.

Vanessa shows us how challenging this can be because parents cannot accept their kids as they are until parents accept themselves as they are. She shows us how conditional love (I’ll only show you full acceptance if you …) can cause anxiety and depression, how it can lead to a sense of rejection, and how it can ultimately lead to relationships completely breaking down.

Vanessa closes the lesson with a beautiful story about her own journey with accepting her daughter exactly as she is, even when it triggers judgment and fear.

Written by The Family Thrive Expert Team

Explore Thriving Through the Teen Years: Building and Keeping a Deep Loving Relationship With Your Teenager here. If you sign up before October 17th, you’ll have access to a parent health coach and live group sessions.

Enjoying this? Subscribe to The Family Thrive for more healthy recipes, video classes, and more.

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