When it comes to parenting your teenager, are you more of a manager or a consultant?
This particular issue has been coming up often in my counseling office lately, so I thought I would share a few thoughts with you on the topic.
One of the best things that can happen is when your teenager fires you as their manager and then re-hires you as a consultant.
Often this happens in late adolescence, but it can happen earlier with particularly mature and responsible teens.
So what is the difference between a manager and a consultant?
I’m glad you asked. 🙂
A manager deals with control while a consultant deals with influence. The consultant role is not passive, but rather strategic.
Great consultants listen, ask questions and let their questions guide their teenager to the next level of action.
Here’s an example. A manager would ask their teenager 14 times each night about how much homework they have completed, they would check the school’s online system several times a week and would monitor their teen’s progress closely.
Does that sound familiar?
On the other hand, a consultant might wait for their teen to come ask them for help.
They would offer to . . .
- Problem solve time management challenges
- Provide emotional support during stressful times
- Be open to meeting their teen’s needs based on how they want to be helped
It is important to say that when there are life-threatening issues around health and safety you have to step into being more of a manager and taking control of the situation.
No matter how old your teen is there will always be rules and boundaries while they are living in your house.
This is a challenging, but important shift to make during the teen years.
Take a minute to consider how you have been communicating and relating to your teenager.
Do you need to switch job titles from parental manager to parental consultant?