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About "Understanding Teenage Obnoxiousness"

The goal of this workshop is to educate parents about how to cope with the "normal craziness" of adolescence. There are three main thrusts to this workshop: 

bulletunderstanding adolescent development and thinking 
bulletmaintaining your sense of humor and a little detachment
bulletlearning very concrete ideas about how to be a parent to a teenager

I first developed this workshop in 1978 while I was on the Faculty of the Center for Youth Development and Research at the University of Minnesota. Since then I have presented this workshop in formats ranging from evening presentations to church groups to one day workshops for professionals. While I was on staff of the Fairview Hospitals outpatient mental health department, I led several brown bag discussions for the employee assistance program. Over 1000 parents and professionals have attended this workshop.

Parent will be encouraged to develop a plan to address some aspect of parenting their teenager. Topics include obnoxious behavior, power struggles, chores, sibling rivalry, homework and school performance, dating, substance use, to name a few. I also bring a lot of humor to the workshops which helps parents to get some perspective.

The three meetings cover the following topics:

Meeting One:

bulletUnderstanding Teenage Obnoxiousness
bulletAn Overview of Adolescent Development
bulletWays to Reduce Teenage Obnoxiousness
bulletPractical Suggestions for Dealing with "Normal" Adolescent Behavior
bulletUnderstanding the Goals of Misbehavior
bulletThe Importance of Maintaining a Sense of Humor

Meeting Two:

bulletPower Struggles with Teenagers
bulletWays to Avoid Power Struggles
bulletPractical Suggestions for Dealing with Power Struggles
bulletThe Discouraged Teenager
bulletThe Teenager who Seeks Revenge
bulletMore Suggestions for Parenting Teenagers

Meeting Three

bulletTeenagers and Shame
bulletTempers and Rageful Behavior
bulletAdopted Teenagers (optional: by request)
bulletMore Suggestions for Parenting Teenagers

The most popular format is a three meeting workshop series for parents. Parents like to be able to get concrete ideas about how to live with their teens and get support from other parents going through the same trials. Three meetings is long enough for parents to feel like they really get something out of it and short enough to be able to fit the workshop into their schedules. The format is part didactic, part audience participation and part question and answer. I also encourage parents to try new ways of interacting with their children and then discuss it, if people wish, at the next workshop.