I remember my teenage years all too vividly, and, for the most part, I put my parents through a living hell.
I rebelled, acted out, stayed out all night, tried drugs, cut school, lost my virginity, and was deeply unhappy during that phase of my life.

You may wonder what triggered it all inside of me, so I will share this answer with you right off the bat.

I was truly not honored or accepted for who I was on the inside. Instead, I was abused. There were many days when I was not abused, but when I was, it hurt deeply and cut to the core of who I was. I remember being beaten with a belt and being called “dumb, stupid, dead from the neck up, a nothing, and a nobody” through all of my teenage years.

Of course as an adult I have forgiven my adoptive father for this treatment because I learned that he truly did the best job he knew how to do at that time. But it took me nearly all of my life to undo the emotional and psychological effects of such treatment.

I was taught to “look sexy” and “grow up to have a rich man take care of me.” It took many years to turn that around also, so that my self-esteem could come from the inside and my self-sufficiency could be earned by discovering my true life purpose, my passion, which I call my work.

The Beginning of the Downward Spiral

I have spoken with and helped parents from all walks of life, all countries, cultures, and backgrounds in my spiritual intensives and tele-seminars. A common thread that they all shared was that they were abused growing up, and whether the abuse was emotional, mental, or physical, the resulting damage clearly lasted well into their adult years. They all had low self-esteem, just as I did. Their teen years were largely spent walking on eggshells to go along and not rock the boat out of fear of punishment or disapproval from their parents. They also had parents who had gone through the same cycle. As a result, no one had yet taught them how to turn it all around, which is the purpose of this book.

Your Teenage Years

This book covers many bases that will bring much to your attention that you have either forgotten or were never taught. Additionally, there is a process in this book that will continue to help you no matter what situation you face with your teenager, whether small or massive in terms of how important you view it to be.

This process, receiving answers from God, as you personally understand Him or Her to be, will enable you to always receive answers when you cannot figure out the answers on your own and nothing seems to be working.

I will answer many questions throughout this book, questions that I have been given by God along with the answers for you, as well as questions sent to me by many of my subscribers in over one hundred countries before I wrote this book.

One thing is quite clear: parents from all cultures around the world share the same concerns. The themes are universal, and it is time that you had simple, understandable, and direct answers—answers that will make a significant difference in your life and in the life of your teenager.

I will also share much about my own teenage years, so you can understand from the perspective of a teenager why many act out in various ways and how to handle the acting out so it can be turned around.

Think back to your own teenage years, now, and remember how you were treated. This is important, because chances are great that if you are having difficulty with your teenager, you may have had difficulty during your teen years, too.

I know I certainly did, and I am clearly not the only one.

Communication with Teens

Unfortunately, what stands out in my mind when I remember my own teen years was a lack of loving, respectful, and courteous communication.
For example, when I was told what to do, I often asked why because I genuinely wanted to understand the reason why I was being told what to do. Much to my dismay, the answer was, “Because I said so.”

This did nothing to help me learn, grow, and understand the adult perspective, which I sincerely wanted to understand. Instead of receiving an explanation from the heart, to give me understanding, I was ordered around as if I were in drill camp. A harsh and threatening tone pervaded the communication I received, and this clearly did not help me at all.

Now, you bought this book because you would like genuine guidance to help you with your teenager. So I am going to begin by giving you the first of some healthy ground rules that will continue throughout this book.

Here is a ground rule for communicating with your teens:
Always speak to your teenager as if you were speaking to a highly respected friend, colleague, or member of society.

This is how I speak to my own teenagers, and we do not have any communication difficulties or communication battles. I speak to them with the same courtesy and respect with which I would speak to you.

A Parent or a Boss

Parents whose teens are thriving typically relate to their teens, rather than boss them around. They put themselves in their teenagers’ shoes, and pick their battles when it comes to setting strict boundaries. They do not act like drill instructors; they do not order their teens around. They relate from their hearts, and their teens feel it.

As a result of receiving respectful communication from their parents, teens respond positively.

The following guidelines for verbal and nonverbal communication with your teens will be immediately helpful if taken in and applied.

Communication Guidelines

1. Never put your teen down in an insulting manner.
2. Always speak to your teen with the same respect you would show adults you have great respect for.
3. Carefully explain the reasoning behind whatever you request of your teen, such as curfews or sexual safety. Explain yourself exactly as you would to your own best friend.
4. Honor your teen’s boundaries and privacy in an age-appropriate manner by asking questions with sincerity rather than in a threatening or demeaning tone.
5. If either your or your teen’s temper flares up, state that you both need an hour or two to cool off and calm down so you can resolve the matter at hand in the best possible way; this will prevent communication from flying out of control and escalating into a volcanic eruption.
6. Never hit or physically touch your teenager in any inappropriate or hurtful manner. This is called abuse, and you can be put in jail for such treatment.
7. If you feel concerned or upset, phrase your concern by sharing your feelings instead of giving your teen the third degree as if he or she were on a witness stand.
8. Allow your teen to express him- or herself openly and honestly while you listen with full attention.
9. Reflect back what your teen has expressed to you just to be certain that you understand where he or she is coming from. This creates understanding and prevents unnecessary fights.
10. Always and under all circumstances honor who your teen is on the inside, even if he or she is different from what you prefer or what you were taught about gender roles.
For example, if your teen is a male and he wants to be a ballet dancer, honor him for it. This shows him that you love and accept him for who he is, which is crucial. Alternatively, if your teen is a female and she wants to work as an automotive engineer or any role that you may have been taught “should” be a male role, honor her choice just as you would if she told you she was interested in a career that you may view as more appropriate for females.

In the next chapter, I explain how crucial acceptance of your teen is; if there has been a downward spiral in attitude or behavior or both, it can be turned around.

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Author's Bio: 

Barbara Rose, Ph.D. is the best selling author of nine books and an internationally recognized expert in personal transformation, relationships, consciousness and spiritual awakening. She is a pioneering force in incorporating Higher Self Communication, the nondenominational study and integration of humanity's God Nature into modern personal growth and spiritual evolution. Dr. Rose is known for providing life changing answers, quick practical coaching and deep spiritual wisdom to people worldwide as the Founding Director of Institute of Higher Self Communication. Her highly acclaimed books, public speaking events, spiritual intensives, teleseminars, webcasts, and internationally published articles transform the lives of millions across the globe. Dr. Rose works in cooperation with some of the greatest spiritual leaders of our time, to uplift the spiritual consciousness of humanity. Her personal website is www.borntoinspire.com