Parent-Teen Communication

Father: “Hey, son. I thought I asked you to clean and put away the tools after you use them.”
Son: “Oh. Right.”
Father: “Well, the tools you used last night are still on the bench. Why didn’t you put them away?”
Son: “I don’t know. I guess I forgot.”
Father: “I told you if you want to use the tools you have to take care of them.”
Son: “Sorry.”
Father: “I don’t want you to be sorry. I want you to take care of the tools. And keep the work area clean.”
Son: “I’ll take care of it.”
Father: “Am I being unreasonable?”
Son: “No, Dad. I’ll put them away. I’ll try to remember next time.”
Father: “I don’t want you to try. I want you to do it. It’s not that hard, son. It’s about being responsible. Now go do what you should have done last night.”
Son: “Okay.”

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For the past few years I’ve been interviewing adults about their adolescent experiences. I always ask, “What did your parents tell you about sex?” Ninety-five percent of the time the answer is, “Nothing.”


The new eBook, How to Give Your Teen a Superior Mind, is now available free to parents and adults who work with teens. Although several books about the teen brain have been published, none of them talk about the permanent long-term consequences of teen brain development – or what adults can do to cultivate a robust foundation for critical thinking, judgment and decision making.


The sound of the front door shutting announced that Ricardo was home from practice. His dad met him in the hallway.

“How was it today?”

“It was okay. We did a lot of conditioning drills and I’m beat.”


It’s unfortunate that so many teenagers feel miserable… 

  • Maybe they can’t afford the clothes the cool kids wear – I WON’T BE POPULAR.
  • Maybe they lag behind in reading and basic learning skills – I’M NOT SMART.