This morning on the radio I heard that a successful salesman will mirror the temperament of his client. What great advice for dealing with teens! If your teen is excited about something, you should share that excitement. And if she’s disappointed, your face and tone should reflect her mood. Almost.
Have you ever used a recipe that called for “2 cups minus 2 tablespoons” of milk? This always puzzles me; how did someone figure out that just that little bit less will make a difference? However, when dealing with teens, just a little bit less of whatever emotion they’re exhibiting is definitely a wise option.
So when he slams the door behind him and shouts, “Guess what?! I made the VARSITY TEAM!!” you don’t have to shout, “WAY TO GO!!” You should, however, wear a big smile and congratulate him instead of shrugging and saying, “Oh. How nice.” Conversely, when she flings herself onto the couch and mutters, “My life sucks,” it’s not the time to clap your hands and suggest a Girls’ Night Out. Lower your voice, look concerned, and ask casually, “Bad day?”
Mix up your metaphors – mirror what your teen is feeling, but hold back a little. About 2 tablespoons should do.