by Chris Taylor, MFT, Author “Back to Basics"

I want my teenager to take school seriously.  I want to be done with all the back and forth arguing that happens every time I ask my teen to do anything around the house.  If only my teen was respectful, would it be so much easier to hear his point of view. 

Do these statements ring true for you?  Have you thought of all the ways how you want your relationship with your teen to improve, yet you can’t seem to find anything that works?  Countless parents who are struggling to breakthrough to their teens share this stress.  It is the cause of hours of worry, and it’s what keeps parents up at night.  The question remains: how do I get help?  Where do I find the answers that I am searching for? 

Trial and error wastes time.  It is an experimenter’s mindset. This approach can be painstakingly slow and there are no guarantees.  Occasionally, a solution is stumbled upon, but the underlying reasons for success are not understood and it becomes near impossible to implement that success into a long term strategy.

This seems to be the common story when parenting teens.  Parents learn the hard way that all the years of learning how to parent a toddler, or a 10 year-old need to be thrown out the window.  They are effectively sent back to square one,  at least those that realize the tactics that work with younger kids will no longer work with teens.  For the parents who don’t realize this, they are entering a time of great pain and conflict that eventually leads to hopelessness and despair.  The good news is that in this article, we will cover the top 5 reasons why you should learn to parent your teens from an expert.


1.    Experts are called experts for a reason.  They have invested huge amounts of time and money to learning their craft.  They are passionate about giving the best, most current information to their clients and they stay informed with all of the cutting-edge advancements in their field.  Although anyone can call themselves an expert, those who have professional licenses are required to complete yearly education requirements in order to maintain their professional standing.  This ensures that the information they are giving is relevant to today’s teens, and not based on an antiquated understanding of current teen culture.

2.    They meet with teens and their families every day.  In my practice, I see eight teens a day for an hour each session.  This keeps me connected not just to a couple of teens but to hundreds of teens a year.  This is a pool of information that very few will ever be able to pull from.  This connection is in depth and relationally based, so when parenting strategies are given they are extremely well informed. 

3.    What they do works.  If the parenting advice that they give to parents doesn’t work then their business is held accountable and they will not be able to keep the business open.  This ensures that there is a process of natural selection that only the most tenured experts should be trusted because they have the staying power that only comes through continued success.  

4.    Experts train others.  Not only do experts know the information themselves but they regularly mentor and train other professionals in how to work with teens, whether through seminars, lectures, or one-on-one coaching.  Those who are sought out by other professionals have been regarded as the best in their field.  In my career, I have trained hundreds of professionals in my unique approach to parenting teens, and am regularly called upon to consult with other therapists on how to work with challenging teens. 

5.    They understand what underlies teen behavior.  By understating what underlies all teen behavior, they are able to formulate a true strategy that will work for your teen long term.  Experts help parents move away from putting out individual fires to having a macroscopic view of the issue.  Quite frankly, little to no enduring progress will be made without a well-informed strategy.  Most parents only have grounding and taking electronics way as a disciplinary tool.  This is clearly not a strategy, and has no real effect on changing behavior.  Especially behaviors of defiance and disrespect. 

Based on these 5 reasons it is easy to see why trusting an expert is the fastest and most efficient way to learning how to parent teens.  Whether it is motivation, ending defiance, ending conflict, or all of these issues combined, trusting an expert will save you an incredible amount of time, money, and emotional stress. 

When I come into contact with parents they are very concerned with the well being of their teens, they want only the best for them, but they are lost in what to do to help them achieve their goals. Sometimes the teen has no goals to begin with.  So often parents are concerned with the cost of counseling and how long it will take.  They know that trusting me, a teen expert with more than 15 years of experience, is the right decision but they also want to be clear about the investment required.  The time issue is always far more important than the financial considerations.  They know they have wasted precious time trying to turn things around, and the teen continues to rapidly approach adulthood still making poor decisions and racking up failures on a daily basis.  They want to believe in a bright future for their teen, but they know it can’t happen unless a change happens quickly.  For this very reason, I created my Back to Basics: Tayloring Your Teen For Success parenting program.  It is a highly structured six week program that will show results in a matter of weeks.  This is the program I use with all of my current clients, and is what has created the level of success where I am sought out as a true teen expert.  Because I believe in my approach so much, I created a free video series for parenting teens that gives you some of the tools from my program.  If you are the parent of a teen and you want a proven strategy to give your teen the best life possible.  If you want to end the conflict in your home and you want to stop worrying about their choices.  If you want them to take full responsibility for their responsibilities then sign up below for your free video series on parenting teens, and join the community of parents who have followed my Back to Basics parenting program and Taylored Their Teens for Success.