Using love and logic is important when raising teens
March 12, 2013
As many parents know, raising teenagers can be a challenge.
First off, teens are in that transitional period between childhood and adulthood. Another factor is puberty. When the hormones kick in, the emotions intensify.
Some parents actually fear their teens, while others find themselves on the verge of giving up.
But Colleen Oshier, who has worked as a family counselor for more than 30 years, says there are ways parents can raise teenagers without experiencing the drama and she wants to share those ideas.
Oshier will hold a series of free Parenting Teens with Love and Logic classes every Thursday, at the Summit County Library Kimball Junction Branch, from March 14 through April 4.
"The Parenting with Love and Logic courses have been around for quite awhile and are offered to parents of children of different ages," Oshier told The Park Record. "I made the decision to split those classes up so that some of the sessions are focused on teens and the others are focused on early childhood ages.
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"While it is good if parents can come to all the classes, it is still beneficial to them if they attend one or two," she said.
The basic concept is balancing child rearing with the heart and the brain.
"The main premise is for the parent to teach children from a young age how to be responsible, respectful, make decisions and solve problems," she said. "So, using love and logic are very important when striving for the ultimate goal, which is to help the children become great human beings that, once they are on their own, live with those good values intact."
Teaching teens these skills can be a challenge, and there are a number of things that need to be addressed, Oshier said.
"There is a fine line, sometimes, you walk in knowing how to talk and have a conversation with them, without them getting bent out of shape," she said. "Teens can feel judged so easily, and since the hormones change their world, it can be difficult to reason with them because they start to think more abstractly."
The solution is for adults to change their parenting strategies.
"Just as the teens are shifting in their lives, the parents need to shift their skills to reach their kids," Oshier said.
Sometimes all that is required is for a parent to recognize when to step back.
"When the kids are younger, parents usually have to tell them fairly often what to do and when to do it," Oshier explained. "When the teen years come, the issue becomes more about asking questions in ways their kids have to initiate their problem-solving skills.
That way, the decisions and actions will come from them more often, instead of the parents telling them what to do all the time."
Another shift in parenting comes with setting boundaries.
"These limits are important in the teen years, but they shouldn’t be draconian," Oshier said. "Love and Logic classes show how boundaries can be set without having the teens resisting and shutting down all communication."
That is pertinent, because parents need to communicate with their teens to teach them the things they need to know.
"The sessions will show parents how to keep those lines of communication open," Oshier said. "For example, a key part of communicating, is to truly learn how to listen to your teen."
A big factor is that adults need to learn how to keep their mouths shut a large part of the time.
"Most of time parents are trying to think of a comeback or something to tell their teens, without really listening to what they have to say," Oshier said. "They will be surprised at how much their teenagers will tell them if they just stop to hear what is being said.
"The classes will give parents guidance and resources of how kids need someone who will listen to them and acknowledge what they are saying," she said. "Hundreds of kids have told me in my career that their parents hear them, but don’t listen to them."
Oshier, who has raised children of her own, said being a parent is one of the most difficult, but also one of the most rewarding jobs in the world.
"As parents we question ourselves so much of the time about whether or not we are doing the right thing," she said. "Because of that, we sometimes flip-flop back-and-forth and develop an inconsistency in the way we relate to our kids. The children pick up on that and learn how to manipulate those situations."
If anything Oshier wants to let parents know that there are resources to help them raise their children.
"The way I teach the classes is that I utilize the Love and Logic concepts, but also what I’ve learned as a parent and what I’ve learned in my 30 years as a family counselor," she said. "I love teenagers. They are so full of life and if we can find ways to teach them important values, they become great adults."
Certified personal family coach and educator Colleen Oshier will offer a new session of four parenting classes on every Thursday from March 14 until April 4, at the Summit County Library Kimball Junction, 1885 Ute Blvd., from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. The classes, "Parenting with Love and Logic," will help parents deal with arguments and power struggles that occur when raising children. To RSVP call Joe Frazier at the library at (435) 616-3902 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.