Ever Overreact With Your Teenager?


This email came to us just the other day. Enjoy!

Dear QBQ, Inc.—

My manager just took our department through the “Personal Accountability and the QBQ!” training, and I wanted to say thank you! Personal accountability is something I try to integrate into my daily living, but sometimes fail at it.

The QBQ! training came at a perfect time. Not only has it given me a tool to use at work, but at home as a mom.

As most parents know, communication with a teenager is a very challenging mountain to climb—and I was not sure I would ever “reach the top.”

While sitting in the QBQ! session, I received this text from our 17-year-old:

“Mom, there’s no way I can get to the school by 3:15 today to get Johnny.”

My initial reaction was essentially this:

Are you kidding me?! We discussed this last night! And now you’re texting me saying it’s a problem?! WHY couldn’t you have mentioned this before???

Now, because I know better than to text before I think and I had just been presented with The Question Behind the Question, showing me how to ask positive “What” and “How” questions instead of victim-oriented “Why” questions, I responded this way:

“Joey, I am really sorry you are in this situation. What can I do to help you?”

My son immediately came back with, “Can you please call the school to tell them I will be a few minutes late? Is that ok?”

After I picked myself up off the floor and re-read his reasonable and helpful response, I answered, “Absolutely!”

Wow, I thought, this “What” and “How” stuff works with teenagers, too!

I know if I’d sent my initial thought—that first negative, over-the-top reaction that went through my mind—the conversation would’ve gone sour fast. Then I would’ve been leaving the QBQ! training session early to get Johnny from school.

Since that day, I’ve been using the QBQ! with Joey. Our communication and relationship are the best they’ve been since he was in 3rd grade … you know, before he knew everything. 🙂

Meanwhile, I’ve purchased the “I Own It” workbook/curriculum to take our entire brood through it at home. I’m excited to do this since some have recently come down with a bad case of the “It’s not fair!” and “Why do I have to do that?!” syndrome!

So, I wanted to thank you for such the great tool—QBQ!—that not only will keep me climbing the mountain at work, but also at home!

When do you tend to engage in over-the-top reactions?

What has been the consequences of these negative reactions?

What is your plan for ending them?

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2 Responses

  1. I love hearing stories like this. You now QBQ! has influenced my marriage just as much as my business and Parenting the QBQ Way is my favorite parenting book! I love seeing stories of other people connecting the dots between QBQ! at work and at home!

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