You lucked out. You got your daughter into this really great middle school. Problem is, she
doesn't want to go there. Well, let's talk about that today on Tips on Teens. My name is Kent Toussaint.
I'm a licensed marriage and family therapist, and I specialize in helping kids, teens, and
families to live happier lives. I lead two organizations, Teen Therapy Center and the non-profit
501c3 organization, Child and Teen Counseling, both here in Woodland Hills, California.
And every Wednesday at noon, I jump on to Facebook Live to answer your parenting questions.
Let's answer today's. "My daughter is graduating elementary this year. For middle school,
we got into a really good school in a different district. She says she would rather go to our local
LAUSD middle school, which has a bad reputation. Her best friend is going there, and I'm sure
that's why. I don't want to force her to go to the quote-unquote good school. I want her to have
some agency in the decision and show her that I trust her, but I don't think it's the right decision. How much say should I let my kid have? How do I have a
conversation with her where I basically say, hey, we adults might know what's better for you
without totally repelling her. And if we decide to make her go to the school we want her to go to,
how do I have that conversation?"
Wow, it's a big conversation. I think a lot of parents have been
in this kind of situation before. Here are all the fears that you have. If I make her go to the good
school, what if it turns out not to be such a good school after all? Oh my gosh, then I didn't listen
to her and she's upset and she blames me because her friend made other friends And now she's alone
and everything's miserable the other fears what if I trust her allow her to go to the Local school
and then three days into the semester her friend abandons her and she hates it there and now we're
stuck there now we can't get out and go to the school. There's all these what-ifs that we cannot
predict. We don't
know for sure what's gonna happen and that's the problem with futures we know very little about
it. There's so many factors that can happen and change. Ultimately, you as the parents need
to make the final decision of what you think is gonna be best for your daughter. Have her voice
involved in it. If you really think this other middle school that she's gotten into is better
because of the teachers, the class sizes, the programs, whatever it may be, I think you have
to be the adult to make the decision because she's just focusing on, I want to be with my friend.
And that may not be the best course of action. I don't know, it's really up to you. But if you really
feel that this school is best, I think it's important to be honest, explain why, explain how
you're going to maintain this relationship with this friend, how she's gonna make new friends,
what are the, maybe there are these programs at school that she's really gonna click with and
how she's gonna connect people there. What are her
extracurricular activities where she's gonna have other friends, make other friends. She
may not go along with it. She may not like it. But if you really think this is the best choice and
you know in your heart of hearts, I think you have to make the right choice for your daughter.
Just like if she said, well I don't want to have broccoli, I want to have ice cream. Well ice cream
is great, but you can't eat ice cream all the time and broccoli, it's better to eat more than not,
right? If she has to eat vegetables, she kind of has to eat vegetables. You know, it's good to
have vegetables in our systems. It's kind of how we're designed, I guess. I think it's not one
conversation, it's many conversations. It's having empathy for her when she doesn't like
it and not getting mad at her or offended that she's not getting on board, it's okay for her not
to agree. It's okay for her to not see the benefits yet until she's experienced it. It may take
her a little while. But again, I can't guarantee
you it's the right choice because no one can know that. It might be the wrong choice, but ultimately
that's how we live our lives. You're always making choices. We don't know if they're the right
or the wrong choice. We just have to make our best choice that we can and then adapt to whatever
happens there. It's really about adaptation. And one thing you may be teaching your daughter
is how to adapt, which is one of the greatest skills we can learn as a human being. So many people
fall down because they don't know how to adapt to new or unpleasant situations. And if we can
learn the resiliency to learn how to adapt and then overcome I think that creates a very strong
human being in the end. Anyways that's our question for today. Thank you very much for your question.
If you have a question for me you'd like me to answer here on Tips on Teens, email us at tipsonteens
at teentherapycenter.com or you can direct message us right here on Facebook. We love your
questions. Again, my name is Kent
Toussaint with Teen Therapy Center and the non-profit Child and Teen Counseling and I'll see
you guys next Wednesday at noon live on Facebook. Bye-bye.
IT’S A BIG DEAL!
What do you do when you and your child don’t agree on big life decisions? Conflict with your kids about decisions that might affect their entire life’s journey can be very daunting for a parent. You don’t want to force your will on your child, you want them to be happy and you want them to like you too. You think that your judgment and experience may just be a little better than theirs, but then, what if you’re wrong?
THE ADULT IN THE ROOM
Ultimately, parents have to be the “adults in the room” in these kinds of situations. Part of being an adult is making the best choice you can when it comes to big life decisions. And if it turns out to be wrong, you then must adapt. Doing your best and adapting is also a life lesson you can teach your children. It’s a tough situation, but we take on the topic decisively in this Tips on Teens video:
“My daughter is graduating Elementary this year. For Middle School, we got into a really good school in a different district. She says she would rather go to our local LAUSD Middle School which has a bad reputation. Her best friend is going there, and I’m sure that’s why. I don’t want to force her to go to the ‘good’ school. I want her to have some agency in the decision and show her that I trust her, but I don’t think it’s the right decision. How much say should I let my kid have? How do I have a conversation with her where I basically say ‘hey, we adults might know what’s better for you’ without totally repelling her? And if we decide to make her go to the school we want her to go to, how do I have that conversation?”
Clinical Director Kent Toussaint answers your parenting questions every Wednesday at 12:00pm in our weekly segment Tips On Teens on Facebook Live. Have questions about parenting kids and teens? Send them to: TipsOnTeens@TeenTherapyCenter.com. We love to hear from you!
Head on over to our Facebook page every Wednesday at 12:00pm to watch LIVE! Check out our page here – https://www.facebook.com/TeenTherapyCenter/
If you have more questions or would like more information, please contact our Clinical Director, Kent Toussaint at 818.697.8555.