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10 Ways to Positively Influence Your Teen

Talking to teen

At Camp Kupugani, our lovely summer camp in the Midwest (about 2 hours from Chicago and 90 minutes from Madison, Wisconsin), we care about children of all ages and want each child to be the best version of themselves.  We also know that–if parents and teens are each doing their jobs as parents and teens–it can be challenging for each to connect positively. It is critical for any child, and especially with teens, especially that they feel heard and respected. A couple of good articles from the good folks at the Greater Good captures well some solutions.  Bullets below, with the the full two-part article here (pt 1) and here (pt 2).

  • Express empathy
    • Resist the temptation to give advice
    • Reflect their position back to them
  • Ask open-ended questions
    • Ask non-judgmental questions
    • Avoid asking leading questions
  • Reflect what they are saying
    • Restate…
    • Reflect their words
    • Reflect their feelings
    • Amplify or exaggerate (without sarcasm)
  • Gently probe any inconsistencies
    • Ask permission to tell them what you see in behavior vs. goals
    • Avoid judging
  • Support their autonomy and emphasize their personal choice and control
    • Express your confidence in their abilities
    • Express that choice and ability to grow is in your child’s hands
  • Surf any resistance like a wave
    • Resistance is normal
    • Try changing tactics
    • Rome was not built in a day
  • Genuinely appreciate their position and their participation in the discussion
    • Express gratitude for your child talking with you about the topic
    • Be authentic
  • Shift the focus of your discussion
    • Gives your child time to relax
    • Gives you time to regroup
    • May lighten the mood
  • Side with their contrary position
    • Empathy goes a long way
    • We don’t always have to be right
  • Help them make a behavior plan
    • Start with them working on it their own
    • Once asked, help with open-ended questions
      • the changes they would like to make
      • the specific steps they plan to take
      • the challenges or potential barriers to their success—and specifically what they will do when they encounter these difficulties.
    • Have them tell you what success looks like in this situation

Source: Greater Good Magazine

Camp Kupugani is one of the 50 Most Amazing Summer Camps for Kids

Camp Kupugani has been named one of the 50 Most Amazing Summer Camps for Kids.

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Kupugani touches on all the core values and enrichment that we hope to instill in our [child]. My husband and I absolutely love Camp Kupugani. Our [child] gained immensely from camp.

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Everyone…was just so, so personable, kind, and the kind of person I want
my [child] looking up to and spending time with.

Laura V.

[My daughter’s] face lights up when she speaks about camp, it’s a priceless experience.

Kenya P.

I have never come in contact with such a wonderful group of people at a camp before. Everyone did an outstanding job, the camp was so organized, it was unbelievable.

Joe M.

She absolutely loves the camp, the staff, and all the friends she makes there. I consider Kupugani to be a big influence in helping her grow and expand her mind each summer.

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