Larry Lawton from the Reality Check Program and author of Gangster Redemption answers: How can I communicate better with my 14 year old son?
Communication with a 14 year old son or any teenager for that matter can be difficult. That is when parenting really comes in. I tell parents all the time it is easy to parent the straight A, follows directions, stays home and doesn’t get into trouble kid. It is parenting the kid who is pushing your buttons, testing the waters, experimenting and thinking he or she knows it all. That is the challenge.
A parent’s job is to teach and instill good character and morals in their child. (We can debate what that is, but not in this newsletter) All other things come after that. As a parent, you don’t want your child to do something so bad it will ruin their life. That is why it is so important to recognize real issues, problems, and potentially life ruining situations as soon as possible. Helping and guiding your teen or young adult through these situations is both rewarding and what parenting is really all about.
It is all how you communicate with a young person. The one constant I have learned from doing the Reality Check Program to thousands of teens and young adults around the country is they always say, “I can relate to Larry, he didn’t yell at us, I understood him, he didn’t make us feel like garbage and he told the truth”. That is so important.
I open the mind and when you do that, you can feed the mind good information. If a person closes there mind, you are talking to a brick wall. Once a person has good information, it is all about when they will use it. Think about it, you can remember a saying your Dad, Grandfather, Uncle, Mom, etc. told you 30, 40 or whatever years ago. It is because it is in there and whoever gave you that information you respected and believed enough to store the information.
The reason scared straight doesn’t work is because people block the information from ever getting in their heads. Even if they remember the scary part, ask them if they remember the information they were given. It is always no. They were in the fight or flight mode.
The reason the Reality Check Program works so well is because we understand how to communicate with young people. That doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t demand respect, instill consequences for actions, etc. But if you don’t communicate the punishment, consequences, etc. in the right way, the situation will only get worse.
Sometimes older people have to realize it isn’t the kids, it is us. It is HOW you communicate as much as WHAT you communicate.
I tell people all the time, the Reality Check Program doesn’t change kids, they change themselves. All we did was communicate in the right way. Unfortunately, that is easier said than done, but never give up. Think about communications in your own life, when you are told what to do, you fight it, but when someone teaches you in the right way or you figure things out on your own, you feel better and adapt to the new solution, rule, etc., better.
The Reality Check Program DVD is all about showing a person the consequences of bad choices. It is YOUR communications aid. Purchase the Reality Check Program DVD and get $10 off by using promo code LARRY Click Here
Never give up on your loved one.