Talking To Teens: Expert Tips for Parenting Teenagers

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Suanne Kowal Connelly, author of Parenting Through Puberty, reveals when to start talking about puberty, how to start the conversation, and the important topics to discuss. Suanne also explains how to use techniques from Motivational Interviewing to improve your effectiveness during these talks.

Show Notes

Click for full show notes, exercises, and word-for-word scripts from this episode

One of the most dreaded, feared, and awkward talks that parents need to have with their teens is the "puberty talk." How do you discuss teens' changing bodies and minds with them and prepare them for adult challenges like sexual relationships and drug and alcohol pressures? When is it time to even start talking about puberty and sex?

This week we brought Dr. Suanne Kowal Connelly on the podcast to reveal her secrets. She's the author of Parenting Through Puberty: Mood Swings, Acne, and Growing Pains, and honed her skills in this area during 25+ years as a pediatrician.

As a doctor who works with teens, Suanne is often in the position of having just 5 or 10 minutes alone with a teenage or pre-teen patient. In that short time, she has to deliver critical information about how their body is changing, get them to talk to her candidly about their drug and alcohol use, and give them some advice they will actually follow.

How does she possibly accomplish all of this?

Suanne has developed a set of powerful strategies based on Motivational Interviewing for having these discussions with teens. And because she sees so many teenagers every day, she has been able to practice and refine these techniques over and over again until they work perfectly every time.

In this episode she gets into her methods, revealing additional specifics and strategies not found in the book.

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