Raising Emotionally Intelligent Teens

steventobiasPresenter: Steven E. Tobias, Psy.D.
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Dr. Tobias described the challenges in parenting teens today. He spoke about ways to provide guidance while acknowledging teens need for independence. Dr. Tobias gives insight into the language of teens and understanding of the underlying reasons for parents actions/reactions.


  1. NJCTS says:

    As teenagers strive for more independence, where do parents draw the line? For example if a teenager refuses counseling and medication for anxiety, yet anxiety is negatively impacting the teen how would you recommend handling that situation?

    • DrTobias says:

      i would do whatever necessary to get your teen into counseling (bribes, threats, reason). Your job is to get the teen there, the therapists job is to sell it to them. Other than that, be emotionally supportive but set firm limits on behavior, with consequences naturally related to the behavior.

  2. NJCTS says:

    How do you work with the continuing pressure of self esteem impacted by the attainment of goods…brand names and new trends and youths belief this will get them popularity?

    • DrTobias says:

      Empathize that these things are tempting, and your teen certainly does not want to be different from his/her peers. Keep talking about your family’s values. Although the teen will likely continue to be brand and trend focused, these values should come through eventually.

  3. NJCTS says:

    Can you recommend some good current resources in counseling teens in school as well as resources to support parents of your student clients?

    • DrTobias says:

      Not to be self-serving, but you can order a book I coauthored, Raising Emotionally Intelligent Teenagers, by contacting my office at ctr4child@verizon.net, or 973.898.0505.

  4. NJCTS says:

    What about parents rewarding kids for good grades. I always ask if he is proud of himself? It appears to work for him, but what do you think?

    • DrTobias says:

      If he is proud of himself, be proud of yourself for teaching good values. That’s enough. You can also mention to him that success in school leads to success in life.

  5. NJCTS says:

    There are so many demands on my child’s time, why would I add extracurricular activities?

    • DrTobias says:

      Happiness is usually associated with a balanced life that includes down time, time with family and friends, and personally chosen activities that enrich one’s life. Also, extracurricular activities help develop interests and possible careers that the teen may not be exposed to in school.

  6. NJCTS says:

    If you find out that your child’s best friend is involved in risky behavior, do you recommend telling the child’s parents and how would you go about doing that?

    • DrTobias says:

      I go by the rule that if I would want to know, then I have an obligation to tell the other parent. I would tell the other parent in confidence and ask that they not reveal how they got the information. Unfortunately, you have to think worst case scenario; if something bad happened, and you did not say anything, how would you feel?

  7. NJCTS says:

    I would welcome some specific websites and other resources that help students become more engaged socially with each other, rather than by using devices.

    • DrTobias says:

      I would recommend school activities, religious groups, scouting, recreational sports, clubs, etc. I would also recommend limiting devices. You can make use of the devices contingent on participation in social activities. Sorry, I do not know of any specific resources, I think it’s a “just do it” kind of thing.