A pioneer in mental health care for children
- About Bradley Hospital
- Our Centers & Services
- Our Locations
- Ways to Give
- Contact Us
- For Parents and Caregivers
- Mental Health Conditions and Treatments
- Parenting Matters Minute
- Parenting Articles
- Childhood Chores
- Healthful Leisure
- How to Talk So Your Kids Will Listen
- Growth and Development
- Emotional and Behavioral Health
- Teaching Your Child Not to Be a Bully
- Signs of Bullying in Children
- When Picky Eating Is a Sign of Psychological Distress
- What Are the Roots of an Anger Problem?
- What Can You Do to Help Your Teen Manage Anger?
- How Can I Assist My Teen With Cognitive Restructuring?
- How Can I Teach My Teen to Resolve Feelings in a Positive Way ?
- Managing Stress in Teens and Adolescents: A Guide for Parents
- Halloween Fears and How to Handle Them
- Tantrums, Meltdowns and Kids Acting Out: What to do?
- Understanding Childhood Fears
- Parenting an Anxious Child
- Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Children and Teens
- Advice that Has Worked for Generations
- Avoiding Homesickness
- Dealing with Divorce During the Holidays
- When a Child's Military Parent is Deploying
- Depression and Suicide
- Self-Cutting and Adolescents
- Signs of Childhood Depression
- Depression: How Parents Can Help
- Depression Can Lead to Suicidal Behavior
- What Could a Child or Teenager Be Depressed About?
- Suicide Prevention: Tips for Parents
- Parenting Guide: Drugs and Alcohol Abuse
- Parents Have a Responsibility to Understand the Potential Problems
- Know How to Tell When Use Becomes Misuse or Abuse
- Teens and Parties
- General Parenting Articles
- Parenting in the Digital Age
- Tips for Handling School Avoidance
- Family Advisory Council
- Family Liaison Program
- Resources for Parents
- The DAISY Award
- Nutrition: What We Offer
- Mental Health Advocacy
- Directions to Bradley Hospital
- Bradley Hospital Educational Series
- Resources for Veteran and Military Families
- Special Needs Camps
How Can I Assist My Teen With Cognitive Restructuring?
View each situation as an opportunity to work together on common goals. Convey to your child that you are in it together. Try to compromise. For example, "We both want you to be able to play video games, so in order to do that, you need to clean up your room.
Train Your Teen to Empathize
Help your teen to identify their own feelings, but also the feelings of others. When they are able to put themselves in someone else's shoes, they may gain a new perspective.
Allow Constructive Debate
Adolescents often like to debate. This can be done constructively.
Set ground rules. Parents and teens should take turns expressing their thoughts, feelings and opinions, and in a respectful manner. Respectful communication is defined as making eye contact with the person speaking, listening actively to what they are saying and not interrupting. It also includes speech without sarcasm, voice raising or swearing.
Use "I" statements. The person speaking should use "I" statements, instead of "you" statements. For example, "I feel that it is unfair that I am not allowed to go out with my friends," or "I think you are too young to be attending parties."
Be accepting of the other's feelings. For parents, it is helpful to acknowledge and accept your child's feelings even when you do not agree with him or her. For example, "I understand that you feel it is unfair, but I still feel that you are too young to be attending parties."
Summarize the other's point of view. In an anger provoking situation, it can be helpful for each person to summarize the other's point of view. This way, each person knows that they have been heard and understood.
Use negotiation in appropriate situations. In certain situations, negotiation may be an option to consider. For example, "Due to your disrespectful behavior, you cannot go out with your friends tonight. However, lets talk about how we can work toward you being allowed to go out tomorrow night."
Don't limit debate topics. Sometimes teenagers like to debate topics other than rules, like religion or politics. It is important that you listen, and not react with anger, even if you strongly disagree with their viewpoint. This can be an opportunity for you to calmly and respectfully share your own values. Teens are far more likely to listen when you are calm.
Employ a Supportive Approach
Even if your adolescent's hostility and anger does not promote warm feelings, always do your best to approach each discussion with a supportive attitude. Your teen will be more likely to respond better. For example say things like, "I know we both get frustrated when you lose your temper, but lets see if we can understand what happens when you start getting mad and come up with some solutions." This statement lets your teen know that you are standing by them.