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Jeanette Yoffe is frequently requested to speak in the media on many different topics related to Adoption and Foster Care. She speaks, as a former foster youth and adoptee expert, community leader, as well as educating and advocating to foster change in the child welfare system today.

Visit her Foster Care & Adoption YouTube channel HERE.

To have Jeanette on your Podcast or Guest on your Show
contact TV Guestpert  Bookings Department 
310-584-1504  |  Or email


12 Ways to Support Teens by Jeanette Yoffe M.F.T.

Updated: May 27, 2022

Understand there are 4 developmental tasks of adolescents developed by the US Department of Health and Human Services, Family and Youth Services Bureau. Sense of Industry and Competency: believing in their abilities.

Sense of Control Over One’s Fate in Life: believing in their future. Connectedness to Others: experiencing positive peer and adult relationships.

Sense of Identity: integrating all of the above helps unify their sense of self. 1. Learn, accept, and acknowledge the importance of Attachment Parenting. In adolescence, focusing on the relationship is crucial. The IRONY is teens need more

connection, then their resistant moods convey.

Teens are individuating and separating from their parents, in order to transition into the world as a young adult, AS WELL AS regressing and suppressing the emotional intensity it takes to do this!!!! Take my FREE AUDIO Class here:

2. DO not react to your teen’s emotional life, show empathy for their emotions first, connection first, then place the emphasis of disappointment on the unwanted behavior, correction last. Parents must convey with kindness, verbally and non-verbally, in a respectful manner, "As your parent, I can and will be strong, wise and kind with you, and instill an attitude of we will get through thiswe will figure this out together.” Whatever the challenge. Teens will push limits, but you must stay grounded in love in order to have influence and support your teen.

3. Teens break rules because of immaturity and lack of cause and effect thinking. It’s not that they won’t, they can’t do what is expected YET! They learn through guidance, repetition, encouragement, support, and being with a parent who explains in a “storytelling” mode, “why we have limits, morals, boundaries and values" and "why this matters in your family." Over time, they will be able to with your attention.

So when your teen says, "I can't do this!" Add the word, YET! providing them with a sense of "you will get there and I have faith in you. AND I will not give up on you or us."

4. Have clear boundaries and be consistent regarding house expectations based on their psychological and emotional age. To find this out, ask yourself what age do I see when they are emotional?” Give them 2 tasks at a time, so they can gain a sense of mastery.

5. Utilize time-in parenting. Some teens don’t know how to accomplish certain tasks. Doing the chore with them, and showing them the way respectfully will be supportive.

Saying "I am proud of you, goes a long way."
An adolescent, needs to hear this over and over and over and over, to instill that sense of competency within themselves.

6. Allow natural consequences, the consequence is connected to the expectation. i.e. if not completing homework, teen will be provided with time in, gentle supervision and guidance how to complete homework.

75% of the time ask questions to get them to think about their situation. For example, if food continues to be left in the room, allow the natural consequence of rotten food to exist so they connect the dots. Do not rescue them. Allow the teen to come to their own conclusion. Ask them “What do you think will happen if food is left to rot in your room for days?”

7. Give specific instructions, with kindness and strength, conveying a non-verbal message of "I know you can do this," rather than making a demand and asking if they can. “I appreciate it when you put your clothes in your hamper, and do your laundry on your own. I know you are capable and able.”

8. Hold the boundary and hold the feelings, when you are met with resistance. Have empathy for the resistance, as difficult as that sounds.

Resistance is a vulnerability, not a defiance. All resistance is fear of the unknown, fear of failure and/or an inability to tolerate the experience. Acknowledge the vulnerabilities. “I know this is really hard, and you’re doing it.” Support your teen with nurture and encouragement over and over.

9. When they comply with the boundary, give them respect and acknowledgement for doing the right thing. Don’t overdo it. “I appreciate you and want to thank you for taking out the garbage.” "Thank you. I appreciate your efforts."

10. Be playful. Playfulness builds memories and releases good endorphins in the body, feeling loved and mattering. Oxytocin, is a hormone which is crucial for bonding and connection. Lighten up with your teen.

Teens can be moody, don't let their mood hijack your ability to be a role model, show them how to be resilient in difficult times. You can be the thermostat of comfort, love and connection.

11. The research in attachment-based parenting, says being with your teen through the challenging times is discipline.


This Video is A MUST Watch for Parents. Dr. Dan Siegel talks About the Adolescent Brain. He helps parents better understand, why teens have difficulty dividing attention, focusing, and push the boundaries because they feel invincible:


I accept I sometimes fumble and stumble as a parent.

I accept I am a human being before I am a parent.

I accept I don't always know the right way.

I accept I can’t fix the pain in my teen's story.

I accept explaining some parts will be painful.

I accept my teen may become emotional.

I accept I can lose my center worse than my teen does.

I accept I don't always know how to respond to my teen.

I accept I am sometimes ashamed to admit my own failings.

I accept my imperfections and my imperfect life.

I accept my teen is their own unique person.

Watch these other videos that have support for teens as well with Bryan Post:

Parenting Tips with Bryan Post & Jeanette Yoffe Part I Parenting Tips with Bryan Post & Jeanette Yoffe Part II


“Critical Features of Positive Adolescent Development from Understanding Youth

Development: Promoting Positive Pathways of Growth.” US Department of Health and Human Services, Family and youth Services Bureau, January 1997.

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