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I had the good fortune to work with Lauren Muriello, LPC of Well Being Therapy Center, for many years at teen camp before she became a mom and a great therapist.
At camp Lauren had a way of being clear and direct with campers and staff that was also kind, patient, and compassionate. She often did that using very few words.
That’s one of the reasons I wanted to interview her, Lauren not only has plenty of knowledge, but she also truly “walks her talk.”
In this short video, Lauren gives parents some great advice for remaining calm and firm when setting guidelines and disciplining our children.
Lauren talks about the importance of following through with what you say. We know that to feel safe, teenagers need very clear boundaries. It also helps them to feel loved.
This becomes tricky because the truth is that sometimes consequences for our teens can impact us as well. For instance, maybe you want your kid to go to that party you threatened to take away because it gives YOU a break.
This is why it’s so important to think carefully about the consequences you lay down because if don’t follow through, your child will respect you less, and guess who will be running the show?
This is an interesting point for parents to take in. How do we get our kids to respect us? We think that they should just respect us because we are their parents, but it probably does not work that way.
Lauren has an interesting take on fostering respect that seems easy in principle but may be challenging to put into practice.
This simple advice requires intentional effort to put into practice. This means we need to take the time to become genuinely interested in our teen’s world.
Yes, this could mean that you need to take a sincere interest in some video games or social media that your kids are involved in.
Seems easy enough, but sometimes this can feel like a chore for a busy parent. However, taking this time to show sincere interest in our kids’ inner world is one of the ways we can strengthen the parent-child bond and build trust.
As our children grow up and become teenagers and start to assert more and more independence, I think the best parents become more supportive allies while also remaining the one in charge, setting limits, following through with consequences, and doing all the tough stuff that comes with being the parent of a teenager.
Laurens’s message is clear and to the point, and we may want to watch it a few times and take notes to remind us how we can best be supportive allies to our teenage children.
I do hope you get a chance to watch the video above and opt in for the whole series. I think there are some good takeaways sprinkled throughout. If you missed the opt-in form at the end of the video, here it is again.
Enter your email to see the entire 9-part video series with Lauren Muriello, LPC
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A Non-Profit Overnight Summer Camp For Teens Ages 13-18Located in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts.