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Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy

"Helping You, Help Yourself"

Parenting for Transparency

Parenting for Transparency by David Zerella{3:00 minutes to read} I provide therapy for many teenagers and their families who are dealing with a wide array of diagnoses and clinical issues—from oppositional defiance to anxiety to familial challenges and transition. In my practice, I emphasize family attendance and participation in order to maximize transparency.

Transparency is developing an open, honest relationship between parents and children in which conflict is not avoided but discussed candidly. As with all of my work, unconditional self esteem is the cornerstone for successful transparency. Therefore, I help families to understand and remind each other that, although they may not like one another’s behavior, they can still accept (love) each other.

Once a teen understands through repeatedly reinforcing unconditional acceptance that he/she is not being personally attacked or criticized, it is time to introduce transparency. Transparency for teenagers means:

  • Accepting responsibility;
  • Willingly disclosing information to parents; and
  • Admitting wrongdoings.

Most teens require education in understanding that increased independence comes with increased responsibility. That means that by giving their parents more information, even if it is incriminating and results in immediate consequences, they are assisting in creating transparency in the relationship. This can better assist their long-term goal of independence and being trusted.

Sometimes parents will have an increased trust in their teen who is being open and honest. However, some parents fear they are being “played” or manipulated and believe they “must” find out what their child is doing wrong. This may be due to past manipulative behaviors and/or a desire to do what’s best for the child. However, it’s impossible for a parent to completely control the child. Ultimately, when a parent tries to completely control a teen’s behavior, the teen doesn’t stop that behavior but tends to just do it more secretively as to not get caught.

It is much more beneficial to offer acceptance and provide consequences as needed, without seeking out manipulative or maladaptive behaviors. That is, allow the teen to make mistakes. When it comes to light that the teenager made the mistake, was manipulative or defiant, then provide the consequence. Consequences for not being transparent and getting caught inherently tend to be more severe. This, however, will reinforce for the teen the value of being more forthcoming, even if the immediate response is negative.

Would you like to have a more transparent relationship with your teen? Are you concerned your teen is defiant?

David Zerella, LCSW
CBT Psychological Associates
2171 Jericho Turnpike, Suite 345
Commack, NY. 11725
(631) 486-5140
Office@cbta-ny.com

2017-05-24T07:58:18+00:00 By |0 Comments

About the Author:

David Zerella, LCSW
CBT Psychological Associates
2171 Jericho Turnpike, Suite 345
Commack, NY. 11725
(631) 486-5140
Office@cbta-ny.com

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