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The Power of the Reframe in Raising Strong Teens & Young Adults


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How we think about situations determines our ability to adapt to and successfully overcome them. When how we think about something is unhelpful, we can often find ourselves getting stuck.


The reframe is a technique therapists use to help their clients think differently so they can approach a situation in a new and more effective way. In this article, I will be discussing a critical reframe to help address character flaws in children.


Our Thoughts Can Become Reality


When you think of your child, do you sometimes think of adjectives like ungrateful, mean, or lazy? When parents think this way, it generally comes from a place of concern and anxiety.


A teenager or young adult who actually does becomes a lazy, mean, or ungrateful will run into many difficulties that any parent would want them to avoid.


This concern often manifests itself through lecturing, calling out the behavior, and futurizing. All of which are typically not so effective in producing the results we are looking for.


Less Effective & More Effective Approaches to Motivating Your Teen or Young Adult


A teenage girl sitting on the couch with her head in her hand looking upset with her mother sitting next to her looking at her daughter and the mom has her hands up in the air. This represents the need for couples therapy katy, tx and a couples therapist katy, tx. This also represents the need for social anxiety treatment katy, tx and depression counseling katy, tx 77494.

The reason they tend to be less effective is because they are based on an inaccurate view of the situation. The assumption being made is that there is a character flaw in my child. There is something wrong with who they are.


When behavior is seen as a character trait, it is almost impossible to change. If laziness or ingratitude is part of who they are, how can it be changed? It is a big ask to try to change someone's personality.


The Power of the Reframe


This is where the reframe is so important. Instead of seeing the problem as a character trait of your child, you need to think of it as a behavior that can be learned.


For example, when you start to think to yourself, “Man, you are so ungrateful!” when your teenager treats you like a chauffeur instead of their parent, reframe it as “My teenager needs help learning the skill, gratitude.”


No one is perfectly grateful all the time; it is a skill to be learned just like hitting a golf ball or cooking. Seeing instances of ingratitude as a learning opportunity instead of a character flaw grants more flexibility in how you deal with it as a parent.


This applies to the other adjectives too:


  • My child is not mean, they are just learning how to be kind.

  • My child is not lazy, they are just learning how to be productive

  • And so on . . .


A character trait is almost impossible to change. A skill can be practiced and learned. If you are like many parents and struggle with seeing character traits instead of skills start out with noticing when this thinking happens.


As you begin to become more aware of your thoughts, you can actively try to reframe them in that moment. As you begin to change how you think about situations, you can start reacting to them differently.


The truth is, you are not a “critical parent”. You are simply a parent learning the skill of guiding children to become successful adults.


If this is something you struggle with, reach out and find a teen therapist, young adult counselor, or family therapist that can help! Having a third party who is trained to help parents can make the process move faster and increase the likelihood of success.


Katy Teen & Family Counseling: 70+ Combined Years in Specializing in Teen, Young Adult, Family, & Couples Therapy

Katy, TX & Houston


As a marriage and family therapist by training and a parent myself, I know that what we do in our parenting is largely good and helpful for out teens and they will thrive because of that. And if we are open to feedback, a little tweak here and there in our approach can make a big difference.


If your teen continues to struggle despite the reframe and you teaching them the skills, our therapist specialize in teen therapy, counseling for young adults, and family counseling. We are ready to help!


The Katy, TX location of Katy Teen & Family Counseling, is located right off of I-10 and Grand Parkway/Hwy 99 in Katy, TX.


Sugar Land Teen & Family Counseling, located in Sugar Land, TX, is conveniently located off of US 90 and Dairy Ashford Road.


If you are ready to meet with one of our teen therapists or young adult therapists or our neurofeedback therapist, all you need to do is follow these three simple steps:


  1. Contact Katy Teen & Family Counseling

  2. Talk with one of our caring therapists 

  3. Begin the healing process today!


Other Therapy and Counseling Services Offered at Sugar Land Teen & Family Counseling


At Katy Teen & Family Counseling, we provide a variety of therapy approaches that are supported by research and shown to be effective. Some of the teen therapy and young adult counseling we offer are:


Board Certified Neurofeedback Therapy


Peak performance (optimal academic brain performance)

Peak performance (optimal athletic brain performance)


Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART)



Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR Therapy)



Group Therapy for Teens


Body Image


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)



Couples Therapy & Marriage Counseling


Couples Therapy and Marriage Counseling can be very effective. The secret ingredient to success is each person willing to look at themselves and work to do things differently, together.


When a marriage counselor or couples therapist has this to work with, the success rate can be very high.


Sometimes life will throw challenges at us that create situations that put strain on our marriage or relationship. It may be due to:

  • Choices and actions that have been made by one partner.

  • Financial downturn in the economy creating financial strain.

  • Feeling like you're growing apart.

  • Feeling like you don't have as much in common as you used to.


Whatever the reason may be, marriage counseling and couples therapy can help. Couples therapy and marriage counseling has also been found to work in less time than individual therapy.


If you've worked hard for this relationship and find that there are now barriers in the way of maintaining a healthy relationship, contact us at Katy Teen & Family Counseling. 


If you've worked hard for this relationship and find that there are now barriers in the way of maintaining a healthy relationship, contact us at Sugar Land Teen & Family Counseling. 


About the Author


A young man in a button up mint green dress shirt smiling. He provides neurofeedback for anxiety houston texas and therapy for teen depression in houston, tx. He also provides neurofeedback in houston, tx and neurofeedback for ptsd houston texas.

Justin Perry, LMFT-A is a talented teen counselor, young adult counselor, family therapist, and couples therapist and marriage counselor.


Having received specialized training in couples therapy, marriage counseling, and family therapy, he can not only help individual teenagers and young adults, but also the family as a whole!


A husband and a father of two he understands the challenges that parents can fact in raising kids and has the skill, training, and experience to help you.


If you are ready to start teen counseling or young adult therapy call, text, or email us today!



Phone Number: 281-519-6364



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