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As a teenager, one is in a place where identity and purpose are being established. And with an active and energetic young mind, it can oftentimes be a challenging feat for someone at a young age. It can even end up being disastrous at some times. The funny part is, people expect it to end that way because they are, well…teens.

For the parents, there is a big struggle with their teenage children specifically because they are not aware of a lot of life’s lessons or are too busy to care about anything that might affect the lives and future of their teenager.

Parents cannot drag the hands of time, but they can guide their rebellious teens through NLP. Below are some of the NLP techniques that parents can try on their kids to show them that life is more than the now.

It’s Called Coaching

Familiarity and contempt on the intentions of their parents, teenagers tend to cut them off automatically, as if it was a cry for independence that was not really needed in the first place. In this situation, the parent should let go of the authority cap and wear the one of a coach. Now that you understand your role, let us go through the elements you need to focus on for NLP to succeed with your kid.

Effective Communication

A big part of everyone’s life is communication. In fact, there are studies that have claimed that 55% of all communication is non-verbal, with 37% for tonality, and 8% for the communication tool. It is important for parents to be aware of this because teenagers communicate non-verbally and they understand things better than words that are thrown at them that are often tone deaf.

NLP strategies aim to focus on the good aspects of life while throwing it in the form of non-verbal communication. The last thing that teens want to be labeled as are rebels, no matter how obvious that is to you as the parent. Though the fight for independence has begun, they are still children and parents have to respect that without losing their control as the older ones in the family.

Not All Teens are the Same

To add another completely complex level, teenagers are different from one another – so as to avoid putting their behavior into one category. There are those who are vocal about their feelings while there are those who just wait for their parents to notice what they are feeling, often acting them out instead of verbalizing what they truly feel. Some useful NLP patterns can help parents guide their children to their success in their adult world.

Pacing

In the NLP world, Pacing is the term used to refer to the act of copying or mirroring another person with the intention of establishing the much-needed rapport between them. This should not be confused with mimicry because there is no intention to humiliate them and is done to complement their behavior and show your support from an unconscious level. If done correctly, this shall create the integral bond that parents so desperately want to establish with their kids. Certain ways of doing this would include getting down to that physical level by matching the tone of their voice, acutely responding to their facial expressions and movements, and trying to match the vocal rate of their speech. Teenagers positively respond to this and it should also be seen as an opportunity for the parents and the children to have fun as a family.

Map the World with Them

If you want your teenagers to understand you, exert the time and effort to learn and use their language on them. This also includes the conceptual frameworks that they are accustomed to using. With this knowledge comes the confidence that they build on you, something that comes in handy when they need to hear what they have to hear.

Solid Anchoring

Anchoring is another great technique with teenagers and it quickly and effectively elicits the desired results. This is done by anchoring an act like let’s say a laugh or giggle or any positive motion with the kids. Other examples could be the touching of the forehead, or even a silly facial expression with the use of your lips. Once they are firmly planted in the subconscious level, you can easily use it to trigger the positive thoughts that are associated with them without even saying a single word.

Metaphors

By nature, kids love stories, the kind that they can easily understand and relate to. By giving them metaphorical stories, you are enabled to instruct their unsuspecting and unconscious relate to their map of the world as established earlier. Success stories and those that are about the essential values that they need to succeed in the real life would steer them towards their realization in the life of your teens.

Be the Leader

Before this step is to take place, be sure that the much-needed rapport has been established. Otherwise, it shall be a power struggle for the ages. Now that it has been clarified, you can be leading your teen with the trivial tasks like picking their toys or cleaning their room before they leave it. As natural as this activity sounds, it comes with the great responsibility of being the ideal leader in their lives. Anything that breaks their trust can wreak damaging consequences.

Should you decide to take this technique, be aware of the following concerns:

Bear in Mind their Map of the World 

It is their world you want to navigate not yours, so you should always consider that map when you need to deal with them. Studies have shown that the teenage brain is yet to fully develop and the same goes for their capability in decision-making. As an adult who is aware of their current fads, pop culture references, and teen jargons, be careful not to be so overt as to make them feel think that you are such a phony with your intentions. Just chill with the delivery and you shall meet them where they are in their world.

Go Back to your Anchors

Now that your anchors have established the positive associations you would like to trigger when the right time and issue comes, be very careful with their proper use. Such anchors might trigger a negative association and vice-versa. Such incidents can happen because others might have planted similar anchors in their unconsciousness. While you don’t wait for it to happen, be ready to appropriately respond when it does.

Language Patterns

Aside from the specific terms or catchphrases that they use, you should be ready to use them word-for-word. This might sound so easy, but it requires the perfect understanding of their context and the right timing for them to feel that you are with them in the world that they fiercely protect.

When used correctly and skillfully, the mentioned tools can be used to show your teens that right mind-set and values that they need to succeed as adults in the jungle that is life. What is important is the flexibility that you should possess as the leader of the pack. Be ready for the unexpected and be witty enough to show that you are not fazed by anything unexpected that comes your way. This flexibility shall give you the control that you need to steer your teens into the bright future that they deserve.

NLP can be an excellent tool in guiding your teens to become successful individuals in the future. Not only will it improve your parenting skills, but you make a significant impact on your self and your teenager.

To learn more about how NLP can empower you to be a better parent, join us at one of Jacky Lim’s NLP workshops today. As one of the few internationally-certified NLP trainers in Singapore, he is able to help take your parenting skills to the next level.

Photo credit: moodboardphotography via Foter.com / CC BY