Parents and their teens never do seem to see eye to eye on responsibilities. In fact, both parties seem to cringe before they decide to get into a conversation with one another after difficult situations arise and need to be addressed to find peace in a home. Some parents walk into a discussion already being on the defense. Some parents start by shouting at their teen because they are unhappy about the task or chore that wasn’t done. Shouting or starting a conversation with an angry tone is not going to get anything positive out of your teen. Your teen may already be used to the shouting when something isn’t done and can in fact, ignore your efforts as you ‘try’ communicating with them. Some teens who are too involved with their own priorities will fend off your attempts to parent them into doing things.

How can parents get their teen to contribute more in the home with their chores and responsibilities? Some parents do not have the authority or respect that they demand from their teen. Often, their troubled teen will ignore their sheepish attempts to get them to do chores. Gone are the days when your little helper in the home wanted to help you unload the dishwasher or sweep up the kitchen.

Today, parenting can be done with resources or professional advice. Books and information online can also be of service for a parent who feels that they are not quite getting messages across to their teen. Shannon Walsh, Ps. Ed, Psychoeducator, is currently working at McGill University as a Wellness Advisor and is an expert working with teens and adults. She also spent 15 years working as a parent and teen coach at the Study in Montreal. She also continues to work as an educational consultant.

She provides insight to some tools that have helped her both personally and professionally. She recommends reading Dr. Shefali’s ‘The Conscious Parent’. “Having studied with Dr. Shefali and participated in her online conscious parenting I and II, I continue to apply the principles she outlines in my work and as a parent,” says Walsh. “She encourages us to slow down and hold space when our kids push back or act out. This slowing down allows us to diffuse the situation so that more productive conversation can occur. When we rush to react and focus on regaining control, we often perpetuate the pushing back that teens do. Parental anxiety is at its peak during adolescence. We worry about the impact of risk taking, rule breaking and acting out. Fear does not keep kids safe. Connection does.”

Having conversations with your teen will establish a fruitful and long-term healthy relationship. Discussing outcomes and solutions will help establish boundaries that will help both parties ease through adolescence together with much less anxiety, as it is a trying time for both sides. Parents find it challenging to parent their teen and teens believe their parents don’t understand the challenges they are facing. Open discussions help both sides respect each other.