Miss-connection: how to connect with your teenage daughter

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One of Australia’s leading parenting experts, Dr Justin Coulson, is giving CONNECT readers the incredible opportunity to take his 7-day Connection Challenge – usually $147 – completely FREE.

Aimed to help you connect more strongly with your teen daughter, the week-long challenge will have a long-lasting impact on you both and change the way you interact with each other well into adulthood.

A best-selling author and parent to six daughters (three of whom are teenagers), Dr Justin Coulson knows his stuff when it comes to parenting and released the program in conjunction with his new book MISS-CONNECTION, Why your teenage daughter hates you, expects the world and needs to talk.

Drawing on cutting-edge research, along with interviews and surveys from around 400 teenage girls, Miss-connection will take you into the world your teen girl experiences and help you connect with her the way she needs YOU to.

From resilience, anxiety, screen use, social media, intimacy, alcohol and drugs, the program will help you both connect and just as importantly find solutions to the many issues faced by teens today.

“While there has never been a better time to be a teenage girl, perhaps there has never been a harder one either.”

Dr Coulson said while there has never been a better time to be a teenage girl, perhaps there has never been a harder one either.

He said from his research he was actually surprised by the way teenage girls expressed their love and gratitude for their parents and that while they might not express it that often, they do love us.

“I’ve read some really interesting books about teen girls in recent years, but I felt like there was more to the story. I wanted to really understand the hearts and minds of adolescent girls. Parents are constantly asking for advice and I knew this could help,” he said.

“They want to be connected so deeply, they are yearning for us to be in their lives, close by and engaged.

“Yes there is the eye rolling and the door slamming, but at the end of the day they love us and want a strong relationship with us.

“They just want to be able to leave us at arms’ length when it suits them as they venture into adulthood.

“What I really did find interesting is that we aren’t telling them we love them enough.

“They want to hear that we’re proud of them, that we actually like them – that they’re great people. So many of them don’t feel “worthy” and we need to help them feel that.”

Dr Justin Coulson’s latest book, “Miss-Connection.”

Dr Coulson added that while telling your teen daughter – or son – that they are loved is incredibly important, adding the three words no matter what is crucial.

He said those three extra words can never be underestimated and lets them know that whatever happens that you will always love them.

“Sometimes just saying I love you can get a little lost, but when you add no matter what not only will you see your teen soften towards you but you will soften towards them,” he said.

“Sometimes just saying I love you can get a little lost, but when you add no matter what not only will you see your teen soften towards you but you will soften towards them.”

“There’s extraordinary power when we let our children know that no matter what they do we will love them.

“That they can do or say anything, they can have the biggest tantrum in the world they can be upset but if they know that we love them no matter what the relationship changes, their heart softens and so does ours.

“I challenge every parent to do it for a week and see how things change.”

To win a copy of Miss-connection send your name, email and postal address to [email protected]

JUSTIN COULSON’S TOP TIPS FOR PARENTING TEENAGE GIRLS

Dr Justin Coulson PhD

● LOVE is spelled T-I-M-E. Just like money is the currency of our economy, connection is the currency of our relationships. Go on regular dates with your daughter, have conversations at bedtime, walk the dog together. Being available to listen is crucial.

● The opposite of connection is not disconnection. It’s judgment. Acceptance and love build connection.

● As a participant in my survey says, “the stricter the parent, the sneakier the child. Stay awake”.

● Discourage your daughter from following Instagram influencers and people famous for being famous. Point them to artists, designers and thinkers who create rather than compare.

● When things get heated, remember that high emotions equal low intelligence. Wait until things are cool before having tricky conversations.

● Remember that even if your teenage girl acts coldly towards you, swears and screams at you, they love you and need you.

● Our girls need our compassion. They need us to literally stand with them in their suffering, to put an arm around them and say, ‘I’m here’.

● The most important words a teenage girl can hear are the words that come after I love you. No. Matter. What.

To access the free program go to  https://www.happyfamilies.com.au/7days/.

Dr Justin Coulson

Dr Justin Coulson is one of Australia’s leading experts in the areas of parenting, relationships and wellbeing. He is an international speaker, podcaster, and author of three books including 21 Days to a Happier Family (Harper Collins, 2016) and 9 Ways to a Resilient Child (Harper Collins, 2017). He and his wife Kylie are the parents of six daughters. When he is not spending time with his family he can be found doing TV and radio appearances as well travelling around the country delivering talks and workshops at schools and organisations helping parents, students and staff improve their personal and professional relationships.