TEACHING your teen problem solving techniques will help not only with their self-confidence but also you will help them to become more independent.

Let’s take the example that your child is going out for the evening with friends, you are unable to pick them up from town and they are going to have to make their own way home.

This is something they haven’t done before so making a plan will help things go smoothly.

The plan will be split into five sections.

Firstly, set out the goal that is to be achieved, in this case getting home from town.

Then, secondly, work out what options are available to them, getting a lift from someone else’s’ parents, taking public transport or sharing the cost of a taxi with friends. Then explore the consequences for each of the options, that is cost, regularity of public transport etc.

When you have worked through these steps and the best option has been agreed on work out how to give it every chance of working and give it a try (if possible, have a plan B just in case plan A doesn’t work).

Finally sitting down with your teen and reviewing how well the plan went (or otherwise) can provide a good opportunity to celebrate what worked well and talk through what didn’t go so well.

As a parent it isn’t your job to solve the problems for your teen but to help them through the process. Always praise their efforts and guide them gently if they get it wrong the first time.

See: www.parentandbabycoach.co.uk

Next week: The benefits of holding family meetings