Creating connections with teens

Creating connections with teens

As parents of teenagers, we want to help our teens navigate the complex world they live in, but we also want to maintain a strong and healthy relationship with them. One of the most important things we can do as parents is to create a strong connection with our teens.

When our teens feel connected to us, they are more likely to come to us for help and guidance when they need it. We can then avoid or deal with issues that can come with parenting teenagers, such as risk-taking behaviour, academic pressure, mental health issues, peer relationships …

As a parent and educator of teens, Dr. Beth Dawson has encountered some of these issues either with her own teenagers, their peers or her students. She has seen first-hand, and with clients, how NLP techniques – along with positive communication skills – can be key to helping us create that connection that we need.

How can NLP techniques help us create connection?

NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) is a set of techniques and strategies for personal development and communication. NLP can help us create connections with our teens by changing the way we think and communicate about our relationship with them.

Here are some NLP techniques that can help us create connections:

1. Use positive language
Instead of criticizing or blaming our teens, we can use positive language to encourage and support them. For example, instead of saying “You never listen to me,” say “I appreciate it when you take the time to listen to me.”

2. Practice active listening
By practicing active listening, we can show our teens that we value their thoughts and feelings, and that we are there to support them. To practice active listening, focus on the speaker, maintain eye contact, and ask open-ended questions to encourage them to share more.

3. Use rapport-building techniques
Some examples of rapport-building techniques include mirroring body language, using similar language and tone of voice, and finding common interests.

4. Reframe
By practicing empathy and reframing situations, we can show our teens that we understand and care about their feelings. To reframe, put yourself in your teen’s shoes, and try to understand their perspective. Validate their feelings and offer support and encouragement.

5. Use positive affirmations
Unfortunately, there are many negative stereotypes that are associated with teenagers and adolescence such as rebelliousness, laziness or moodiness. These clichés are not helpful when we’re dealing with teenagers. When we use positive affirmations and associations, we can foster a more supportive environment for communication.

During her four-week foundation course Creating Connections Beth shows mums of teens how to use these techniques and more. Creating connections is not always easy, but it is essential for our teens’ well-being and for our own happiness as parents.

The next Creating Connections course starts in mid-September 2023. The groups are small to allow for discussion in a confidential and respectful environment. It is a hybrid course and coachees have access to online resources throughout the course.

Please get in touch, if you’d like to know more.

“My teenager says I’m less stressful and much calmer”

In just a short span of time, I learned so much on the Creating Connections course. Beth’s guidance was so valuable, and she really created a warm and inclusive environment where everyone felt comfortable sharing their experiences. Beth’s approach was not only educational but also fun and interactive. The programme was well-structured and covered a wide range of topics, from active listening to conflict resolution. She provided practical tools and techniques that we could immediately apply in our daily lives and I really managed to calm things down at home with my teenager who had been really acting up.
As soon as I reframed and looked at things from her perspective, it made a huge difference. My teenager says I’m less stressful and much calmer in general. I can feel it myself. The course gave me tools to actually create a calmer atmosphere at home. I highly recommend Beth’s ‘Creating Connections’ group programme to any parent of teens, whatever the situation.
Lin V (took the course in February 2023)