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The teenage years are difficult for both parents and their teens. Teenagers go through a bunch of different changes, emotionally and physically, and it is hard for parents to grasp how to deal with those changes. Rosalind Wiseman’s book, Masterminds & Wingmen, gives a detailed explanation of how to cope with the rollercoaster that is otherwise known as adolescence. She has one process in particular that can be very useful to parents that are being driven up the wall by their teenage sons. When he does something obnoxious, use the SEAL process. The process is as follows:

  1. Stop and Set it Up: Take a second to calm down and think about when the best time would be to really sit down and talk with the other person about the problem at hand.

  2. Explain: Verbalize to your son what upset you, why it upset you, and what you wanted the outcome of the situation to be.

  3. Affirm and Acknowledge: Express your right to be respected and listened to and say “I’m sorry,” taking accountability for what you might have done to cause the situation to escalate. Remember, it’s a two way street.

  4. Lock in: Decide how you can effectively continue your relationship and what you can do to improve it.

*We have our own male psychologist, Dr. Daniel Sorkin, who reaches boys and understands the unique challenges they face. If you’d like to talk with him about your son’s issues, call 847-469-3355.