Ep. 57: Your Teen on Power

Ep. 57: Your Teen on Power

Update: 2019-11-03


Click for full show notes, exercises, and parenting scripts from this episode

Have you ever had to look on as your teen, on a power trip, becomes a complete jerk? Maybe you’ve even seen your teen become a tyrant after being given even the smallest bit of social  power, like being in charge of dropping a sibling(s) off at school. Suddenly they fly into a rage if said sibling is even a minute late walking out the door, even though your teen was ten minutes late last week when you took them to school.

This week I spoke with Erin Clabough, PhD, neuroscientist and author of Second Nature: How Parents Can Use Neuroscience to Help Kids Develop Empathy, Creativity, and Self-Control, about teens, power, and empathy. It’s true that people on power trips are bad at empathizing. And while it might seem like the solution is to just completely strip your teen of their social power, Erin suggests this is unwise.

In fact a study looking at groups of monkeys found that the animals with the lowest social status - the least amount of power - were the most likely ones to voluntarily pick up a drug habit.  Having social power and being the “one in charge” gives a person a dopamine rush - it feels good to be respected and listened too! For the monkeys that were low on the totem pole the alternative was to get a dopamine rush from readily available cocaine.

So the solution, according to Erin, lies in helping kids have values like empathy and kindness, in addition to having self-control!

And how can you do that? Surprisingly, bribing makes the list. As a neuroscientist, Erin intimately understands how to effectively use bribing to get your teen to start doing the right thing(s). In addition to unlocking how to properly bribe a teen, you will discover:

  • How to intervene when you see an imbalance of power

  • The two criteria for rules that teens follow

  • The importance of giving your teen social power

  • What cognitive empathy is and how to use it

  • Erin’s “OUT” Method for conflict resolution

And that’s not all! Have a listen to this week’s episode featuring Erin Clabough for more insights on managing teens on power!

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Ep. 57: Your Teen on Power

Ep. 57: Your Teen on Power