Creating YES Situations With Teens and ConnecTEEN book review
Sometimes my teenagers ask me for things or want to go places that make me feel uncomfortable as the requests are unwise, impractical or unsafe – my first instinct is to say NO. But what if there was a way we could go about creating YES situations with our teens, no matter what they ask?
Bernardo Salcido is my guest in this post, he writes about simple yet effective strategies that any parent can implement to help enable this process.
I also review his book connecTEEN below.
Creating YES Situations With Teens
-Saying YES to your teen might be the easiest way for them to say NO-
Guest post by Bernardo Salcido
“Will you buy me that new phone?”
“I want to go out this Friday.”
“Can I have a dog?”
You probably hear requests like this on a regular basis with teens at home. They see something and want it, and have very little understanding of the commitment, price, or repercussions of the request. Since we as parents do, the normal response is rational. We feel the need to explain all the reasons why the request is silly or expensive. But what happens when we find a way to say YES?
Rather than increasing resentment and rebellion with the regular NO answer, what if we join them in their excitement and find a way to help them accomplish their goal. Even though in the back of our mind we are sneakily hoping this goes wrong.
No creates Parent vs Teen
So why make the effort? Think about it from any teen’s perspective. If you tell them NO, more often than not they will continue to dig in and seek the object with more passion because they can’t have it. You say NO going out, they get mad and frustrated. You say NO dating that boy/girl, and now that person becomes even more desirable. It becomes a “parent vs teen” battle over NO, and not necessarily the request. At that point you are adversaries and your teen learns nothing.
Instead, with an affirmative response of YES, you change the dynamic to “parent + teen” and you begin assisting them in their desires. Together, in this YES relationship, it is up to the “team” to figure out how to make this particular request happen. As the parent you benefit in two ways by first creating an opportunity to connect and second by forcing your teen to engage in decision making skills.
YES could lead your teen to the NO answer
If a better relationship and critical thinking are not enough, the best part of saying yes is the possibility of your teen realizing that NO is the best option. As in the case with my teens and desperately wanting to get a dog. After finding a way to say yes through babysitting, they both realized how much work it is to care for a dog. And it was them who put an end to the dog discussion.
Give it a try
Look at these ways to say YES and see if you can use one of these the next time your teen has a request. It might take more engagement from you in the long run, but you get more time together to build your relationship and help them learn to think through situations.
This is a great place to start the YES train. As soon as your teen asks for something, your response is simple. Say YES and then discuss the parameters that need to happen. This is a conditional YES because it requires something else to happen. You gracefully allow the thing to happen under certain circumstances.
For example, if your teen asks for a new phone.
You- That phone is so amazing. I was thinking of getting one myself.
Teen- It is so cool, and did you know it has 4 times the speed as my old phone.
Teen- Yeah, I gotta have it. Can you buy it for me, you know how old my phone is.
You- Absolutely. If you are able to earn enough money for half. I can’t wait to take you to pick it up. It’s going to be awesome.
As the parent, you have demonstrated you are in this with them. You’re excited about what they are excited about and want to help. Of course you know there will be questions and this is where the decision making training comes into play.
Teen- What! I can’t pay for it.
You- I agree you totally need a new phone, and I can’t wait to buy it.
Teen- But you are going to make me pay for some.
You- With so many phones out there, I just want you to be able to choose the best one for you with the features you want. Putting in some money helps us decide on the best choice. Lets get started looking.
Now you have got them thinking. Mom/Dad want to help but I have to put some money in to make it happen. Do I really want this phone, a different phone, or just make due with what I have. It puts them in the driver’s seat and you have been nothing but helpful.
Say YES right up front, even embellish a lot and play on their desire for the request. Then provide a condition or set of terms that must be followed for them to get to the final answer of YES.
Trial run YES
The parent’s role is to figure out how to try it out for a day or two. How can we live through this on a small scale and let them feel the totality of the decision. What are the possible ways to actually experience the request without going all the way in? Take the dog example for a spin.
Teen- That puppy is so adorable.
You- And did you see it’s cute eyes?
Teen- I know, I just want to hold it forever. Can we get a dog, please.
You- That would be fun. Let’s get one, and while we are looking, let’s babysit my friend’s dog.
Teen- For real. I am so excited. When can we watch “Fido.”
Again, you have demonstrated you are in this with them. You are building a connection around what they are excited about. But this is the perfect opportunity for a trial run YES because you can create a situation for a short amount of time. Then, during that trial run, you can lay the groundwork for responsible care of the dog. Stated another way, you get your teen the experience they want and they have to wrestle with the responsibility on a small scale.
Other situations that could lend itself to a trial run YES could be: career exploration through a conversation or internship, test driving a specific type of car, borrowing a video game console, or letting them try a new bedtime.
Say YES and let them give it a try. Chances are they will be over it after a few weeks, but they will come to that realization.
Try YES as a first response
Even though you might be able to predict the outcome, and it would help your teen avoid pain; try saying yes instead. Allows them to take on the decision making process rather than shielding them from mistakes. Find a way to say YES.
Parent mentor, middle school principal, and author, Bernardo Salcido assists parents with strategies to connect with teenagers. Remember, when teen independence starts, it’s time to start building relationships.
Connect with Bernardo on these social platforms:
Or you can also buy his book connecTEEN here! BUY BOOK
You can read more information about connecTEEN in my review below.
ConnecTEEN – book review
ConnecTEEN – establishing healthy relationships at home
Bernardo kindly sent me a copy of his book in order to write a review. All opinions in this review are my own, visit my full disclosure policy for more information.
About the Book
This is the blurb from the back of the book:
“Want a better relationship with your teen? connecTEEN helps parents build meaningful relationships using proven strategies. These easy to learn techniques have resulted in countless successes throughout the author’s 18 years of experience and will eliminate the parent-teenager divide.
Parents who read connecTEEN will…
- Build mutual trust and respect
- Limit parent vs. teen confrontation
- Embrace forgiveness to help teens grow
- Learn patience so teens accept responsibility”
MY thoughts on connecTEEN
As anyone knows, parenting can be one of the hardest jobs anyone can do, and parenting teens especially so! However, in his book ConnecTEEN, Bernardo Salcido breaks the process down into four simple concepts and makes them feel very achieveable.
ConnecTEEN is divided into four main sections, or chapters, titled Respect, Conflict, Forgiveness and Patience. Each chapter is chock full of practical tips and solutions in how to communicate and resolve conflict with your teenager.
I love how his suggestions always point to opening dialogue and improving communication with your adolescent while always maintaining respect and consideration for both parties.
It is clear that Salcido has had many years of experience working with teenagers as he draws on many personal examples that have worked for him.
I particularily enjoyed his section on patience – this is definitely something I struggle with, especially when I feel under time pressure. And this handy line for your worst days could be a life saver: “I love you, and tomorrow will be better”!
I enjoy Salcido’s easygoing writing style, his book is accessible and conversational, and with a handy 126 pages it won’t take you forever to finish reading so you can start using his advice straight away.
I would recommend this book for any parent of teenagers or even better, for those whose children are shortly approaching the teen years so that you are prepared in advance! I can see this is a book that I will return to again and again.
Language : English Publication Date : 2/14/2020
Format : Softcover
- Dimensions: 14cm x 21cm
- Page Count: 126
- ISBN : 9781532092169
- Price : $13.99
Format : E-Book
- Page Count : 126
- ISBN : 9781532092176
- Price : $3.99