5 Must-Have Skills for Parenting an Emotional Teen

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Focusing on SKILLS and not a “vent sesh” will help you as a parent to feel more effective in communicating, interacting with and responding to your teen to help to de-escalate emotional situations.

In our DBT Parenting Group, parents learn 5 skill sets to effectively parent an emotional or high-risk teen with success:

MINDFULNESS SKILLS

Parents learn to slow down their own emotional reactions so that they can respond in ways that are helpful. This also empowers parents to change patterns of dysfunction that may have played out across generations. Ultimately, our mindfulness skills provide parents with a choice about how they want their family to operate.

MIDDLE PATH SKILLS

Learning to find the middle path will help parents develop more balanced and less extreme responses. It’s what allows parents to look for the valid aspects of their teen’s problematic behavior and learn to acknowledge the feelings without condoning the behavior so that acceptance can lead to change, rather than starting with change that typically creates more conflict when a teen feels misunderstood.

DISTRESS TOLERANCE SKILLS

All parents who have high-risk or emotional teens need support in managing the stress associated with this difficult parenting task. Parents learn how to take care of themselves in times of crisis and also how to respond to their teen in these times so that they can know exactly how to help without enabling their teen or making the situation worse in some way.

EMOTION REGULATION SKILLS

Parents learn to understand their own emotional triggers and responses so that they are able to lessen emotional situations in the home and respond more effectively to the needs of the teen. This means more balance, more peace, less stress and less conflict.

INTERPERSONAL EFFECTIVENESS SKILLS

This skillset helps parents develop and focus on the goals of their interaction with their teens. This results in more effective interactions and less emotional reactivity on the part of both parent and teen. Simply put, parents feel closer and more connected to their teen while still being able to set limits that work.

Sound like exactly what you need to supercharge the treatment process for your teen?