Talking To Teens: Expert Tips for Parenting Teenagers

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Jenifer Fox, author of Your Child’s Strengths and an education expert, covers the three areas to watch for strengths: learning, relationships, and activities. The key is to embrace your teens strengths, even though on the surface they might seem “different.”

Show Notes

Click for full show notes, exercises, and parenting scripts from this episode.

Unfortunately, a lot of teens perceive an unspoken message from their parents, the  sense that they aren’t good enough. Teenagers rate pressure from parents as a major source of stress, and it might have something to do with focus. When parents fixate on how their teens can improve, rather than where they excel, teens can form a negative view of their own identity.

Presenting a fresh perspective on raising teens according to their strengths, is Head of the Berkshire Country Day School, Jenifer Fox. Her book, Your Child’s Strengths: Discover Them, Develop Them, Use Them; A Guide for Parents and Teachers, is full of activities and lessons to help parents identify their kids’ strengths so they can thrive. 
Finding Strengths
Doesn’t it seem like everybody's a critic? That reality can be challenging for a teenager trying to find their true self. Even well-meaning parents can be quick to critique their kids by pointing out what they’re doing right, or wrong. One of the things teens crave most is validation and acceptance for their individual strengths, but some strengths are easier to recognize than others. 

It can be problematic if parents fail to perceive their teens’ strengths as viable. In this episode we talk about the misconception that our teens don’t do anything, and how we can recognize our teens’ interests as valuable. Whether it’s surfing, studying, or listening to music.

Jenifer also illuminates how teens can learn to play to their strengths. One method we discuss is encouraging teens to pick out the chores that they feel confident tackling. Another strategy we get into is paying close attention to the working world around us. When we teach our teens to ask how many different types of jobs we can spot in one place, and think about what it takes to get those jobs, we open up a great conversation about strengths. And, we talk about how to ask our teens to find a better alternative to showcases their skills, without being judgmental. 

That’s Not All!
In this episode with Jenifer Fox, you’ll also hear expert insight on:
  • How to bring the most authentic piece of yourself to the conversation.
  • The truth about schools being set up for one type of learning.
  • How project-based learning engages teens and touches on all areas of education.
  • The relevance of Activity Strengths: Those things that light you up and get you energized. The captivating flow state where time flies and you’re always looking forward to it.

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What is Talking To Teens: Expert Tips for Parenting Teenagers?

Parent-teen researcher Andy Earle talks with various experts about the art and science of parenting teenagers. Find more at