Title: How do I motivate my kid to be on time?!
00:00:00 Speaker 1
You. How do you motivate your teenager to be on time? Well, we're going to 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 live happier lives. I lead two organizations
teen Therapy Center and the nonprofit 501 c three organization, child and Teen Counseling,
both here in Woodland Hills, California. Every Wednesday at noon, I jump on Facebook Live to
answer your parenting questions. Let's jump into today's. My 14 year old is never on time. No
matter what time we say we are leaving the house or how often we tell him how long he has until he
needs to be at the door, he always keeps the rest of the family waiting. On a recent family trip
with his young cousins and older brother, it was no different. We were always waiting for him
and him. Only he is capable of being on time when he will be in trouble. He gets out of the door for
school, but he could care less if he keeps the
00:01:11 Speaker 1
family waiting. Talking to him hasn't worked. Any advice? Yes. By the way, thank you for your
question. First part of advice is keep talking to him. Keep talking to him. A place of respect
and dignity and appealing to that higher level of his brain. Keeping in mind he is 14 and he probably
has this tunnel vision of his life and has a hard time seeing how his actions affect other people.
That is not uncommon for a 14 year old. Rest assured, he will not be 14 forever and hopefully in
time he will learn that, oh, my actions impact other people. In the meantime, since he does demonstrate
he has the capacity to do this, it's not like he has developmental delays or tension issues where
he just can't function. He can function when he wants to. Sometimes while we want to talk and
encourage and do the soft sell with our kids, sometimes there has to be the metaphorical stick,
right? Not that you're going to beat your kid, obviously, it's not what I'm saying. But there
may have to be some consequences
00:02:19 Speaker 1
for his actions. Reasonable consequences. Could be that if he's late to go out to dinner, then
hey, we're leaving. There's food in the fridge. Bye bye. Now. That may not be the best thing to
do because your kid's like, great, I get to stay home. If you do that, you may need to take the Xbox
controller with you or the power cord with you. He'll still have his phone? Probably, but you
may need to set that kind of boundary. Or for most kids, screens are a big deal. And let's say your
kid has X amount of screen time. Let's say for argument's sake, it's 2 hours a day. I don't know
if that's the right number for your family. Your mileage may vary, but let's just go with arbitrary
numbers here with 2 hours a day. And let's say, all right, for every minute you keep us waiting,
you lose three minutes of screen time. So if you kept us waiting five minutes, you've lost 15
minutes of those 2 hours. If you kept us waiting 20 minutes, now you've lost an hour of screen
time. So it adds up. It builds and
00:03:16 Speaker 1
builds and builds. You have to be mindful that he's going to have to lose some screen time several
times for this to really start sinking in. Maybe he has an allowance and maybe he has allowance
deducted again, it's not the ideal situation, but there has to be some kind of consequence for
him to recognize, oh, because you've said before, if he's going to get in trouble, he's on time.
He's not late for school. He can get out of school on time. So there's something about the family
dynamic and which leads me to my other thought is, what's going on? Why does he need to exert this
kind of unhealthy control over the family? What is this emotional need that's not being met?
And that's what I'd want to explore with him, is what is going on there? Because my hunch is he
does have some understanding of what's going on, but he's choosing to impose this control over
his parents, his older brother, his cousins on a family trip. So I would want to explore that
with him and see if he can uncover that.
00:04:15 Speaker 1
Does that kind of solve some of this problem? Anyways, I really appreciate your question. Thank
you so much for writing in. If you have a question you'd like me to answer here on Tips on Teens,
email us at email@example.com. Or you can direct message us right here on
Facebook or on Instagram or even on YouTube. We're there too. Again. My name is Kent Toussaint
with Teen Therapy Center and Child and Teen Counseling. And we'll see you next Wednesday at
How do I motivate my teen to be on time?!
It’s not uncommon for 14 year olds to have a kind of tunnel vision when it comes to being aware of how their actions affect other people. If you’re struggling to motivate your teen to be more considerate of others, rest assured. Your kid won’t be 14 forever. In the meantime however, you may have to impose some boundaries and implement some reasonable consequences to manage the situation.
Is my kid really just trying to exert control?
Your kid may be using a lack of consideration intentionally to impose his or her will on others too, in which case you need to explore the issue with them to uncover the cause of the problem. Either way, keeping the conversation going is ultimately necessary to motivate your teen, and we talk about it in this Tips on Teens. Here’s this week’s question:
“My 14 year old is never on time. No matter what time we say we are leaving the house or how often we tell him how long he has until he needs to be at the door he always keeps the rest of the family waiting. On a recent family trip with his young cousins and older brother it was no different. We were always waiting for him and only him.
He is capable of being on time when he will be in trouble. He gets out the door for school. But he could care less if he keeps the family waiting. Talking to him hasn’t worked. Any advice?”
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.