If you are the parent of a teenager, you are no doubt familiar with these relics of teenage communication, and parent frustration. Teenagers are notorious for their “minimalist” style of communication with parents, as well as the highs and lows on the teenage “hormonal coaster” that leads to the inevitable verbal spar.
As parents, we feel the weight of responsibility to guide our kids and do our best to set them up for success in all areas of their life. But so many parents we’ve talked to feel that every communication attempt falls on deaf ears. They often come to us at the end of their rope and out of ideas about “how to get their teen to listen.”
There are a lot of tactics and strategies for effective communication. And a lot of them work. But we’ve found that this simple 3-step strategy called "Plan B" is one that works very well for us and the families we work with.
So, to help you and your teen come to a solution that everyone can be happy with, we've developed a series to break down collaborative problem solving with your teen. Today, we'll just be focusing on the rationale behind the Plan B strategy and why it works.
What is "Plan B"?
Plan B is a communication strategy that seeks to develop a collaborative solution to an issue where both parties have "buy in" to the solution they come up with together.
How Does Plan B Work?
As a general rule, as I’m sure you’ve found out a long time ago as parent, teenagers don’t like to be told what to do. As parents, it is our job to enforce boundaries and limited to keep our kids safe, but teens want to feel as though they have a voice in decisions that affect them. That's what makes Plan B so effective - is that it allows teenagers to be an integral part of creating a solution, while also maintaining healthy limits and boundaries as parents.
Here is a brief video describing Plan B in a bit more detail from our Webinar "How To Survive Virtual Learning With Teenagers (Without Losing Your Mind):
In our next post, we'll talk about the first practical step to implementing this strategy and tips for how to do it. Stay tuned!