Build A Better Family Team

Psychotherapist and Life Coach Didi Zaharides joined us to share some tips to help you create a better family team:

This is Your Family Team:   Who plays what position?

  • Every family member has a role.  The Parent is the Coach; the kids/teens are the players.  What are the other family roles? The Smart one.  The Trouble maker.  Do you like the roles of your family members? Is it time to get new roles for this season?  Just like a team, your family needs to re-evaluate and consider new options for each player.
  • A Coach makes the final decisions for the team.  You are the parent, not a casual friend; gain respect in the way you lead the family.
  • Get comfortable with not being liked.
  • Consider parenting with a coaching style; be a parent who listens.  If you react too quickly, your teen will choose not to go to you first, or talk to you when it really matters.

Set Expectations not Rules:  Every team has a playbook

  • Be prepared with expectations as opposed to reactive to a situation. Everyone should know the expectations. Ex.: Curfew or Grades --- CHECK your teens grades / share your expectations
  • As a part of your family, discuss the expectation of your teen’s role.  What is expected of each player?  Ex.: Put your dishes in the dishwasher; when you drive the car has to be home by midnight, etc.
  • Do not waver in your expectations.  This is the family play-book.

Agree to the Consequences:  Skip practice, don’t get to play on Friday

  • Create and discuss consequences in this new school year.
  • Consider creating a partnership:  Rely on your players.  You set the expectations and your teen sets the consequences.
  • As the Coach, you need to be consistent in your reactions.
  • This system provides your teen the ability to make choices to follow expectations and/or to choose a consequence.

Increase Family Communication:  Team Meetings and 1 on 1’s increase team success

  • How/when do you talk to your teen?  Daily? 
  • Teens text more than they talk; learn to text.
  • Teens use MySpace and Facebook; ask to see his/her page.
  • Teens love to talk about media, TV shows, and movies; watch what they watch and DISCUSS IT!

Have Family Fun:  Celebrate the Wins!

  • Make plans; put it on the calendar; and expect attendance!  
  • Recognize the accomplishments; good grades / attendance / hitting expectations regularly
  • Team Dinner once a week.  (It could be Sunday!)

For more information, visit Didi's website.

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