Author: Lisa Nichols

It’s about staying in love, even when they’re being horrible.

Tama’s quote wasn’t written for moms of out-of-control teens, but it’s awfully fitting.

When your teenager is doing scary things, it’s natural to go into control mode.

💧 To relieve your fear that your child will do something that will affect the rest of their life.

💧 To protect yourself.

💧 To feel like you’re not going to lose your child.

But being too controlling can backfire. It can drive your teen further away, driving a bigger wedge between you.

Letting go of trying to control the situation doesn’t mean that you give up on boundaries and consequences. These are important — and your teenager actually needs and wants them, no matter what they say.

Remember, they don’t really know why they act the way they do. They don’t realize that their amygdala (the emotional center of the brain) is all grown up while the prefrontal cortex (the good-decision making center) is still far from being fully formed.

They just know that they’re full of emotions they don’t know how to handle. They have pressures from school and peers like they’ve never experienced before. And their bodies that are doing all kinds of strange things.

“Staying in love” with them during this time can be tough. They really know how to push your buttons — until you go right over the edge.

You may not be able to do it all of the time, but it can help you “stay in love” by remembering who they are (your beloved child) and that they are real people with their own feelings, beliefs, fears, triggers and desires (not just your child).

It can also help if you clear your own triggers, expectations and beliefs that hijack you when you’re dealing with your teen.

In fact, this is my #1 recommendation! It can change everything between you and teen.

If you would want to know how to do it, download my bestseller Surviving the High School Years with Your Sanity Intact at

Moving Out of Embarrassment and Shame

Being the mom of an out-of-control teen was the hardest time of my life.

There were so many emotions. Frustration. Fear. Anger, Sadness. Regret. Grief. Guilt.

And, unfortunately, embarrassment and shame.

To me, our son’s behavior seemed like a testament to what a terrible parent I was and, at a deeper level, what a terrible person I was.

Not only did it feel horrible, my embarrassment and shame made a bad situation worse.

In my book Surviving the High School Years with Your Sanity Intact, I wrote:

“I hated those feelings. I hated that I was in a situation in which I felt them. When they were triggered was probably when I made the biggest mistakes with my son, when I would yell the loudest or say the meanest things or come down on him the hardest. It’s when I felt the most separate from him.”

At the time, I didn’t know how else to deal with my feelings.

But I grew so much from this experience. I learned SO much; my son is my biggest teacher.

I learned that I don’t need to carry my shame with me for the rest of my life.

I learned that I can feel those yucky emotions without imploding. And there are ways to work through them and come out the other side with wisdom and inner peace.

I learned that there is forgiveness in the world for my failings.

I learned to give myself grace.

If you would like to read more from my book, you can download it for free at

Why I Help Moms of Out-of-Control Teens

Making the decision to send our son to residential therapeutic school was the hardest decision of my life.

It took us about a year too long to do it. He had been tough for a while, but really went off the deep end at 13.

But we kept expecting and hoping that he would “get it,” that he’d start going to school, get off the computer, stop smoking, stop stealing our credit cards, be less violently angry, etc. etc.

But we finally had the people come in the middle of the night and whisk him away to Utah.

He was gone two and a half years of his high school years. And while it was tough (for all of us) and he hated every moment of it, it was the right thing to do. It was how we kept him safe during those difficult years and he learned a lot. And he did finally graduate high school (it was touch and go there right up until the end!).

This is the thing: He wasn’t the only one who had to change for us to have a happy ending.

At some point, I finally realized that I was parenting my son in a way that was not helpful: through guilt. It created separation. It was part of the dynamic that kept him in his troubled ways. I also had emotional triggers that would make me react to him in certain ways – and they actually had nothing to do with him.

When I started reacting to him differently, it was a turning point for our relationship. We actually like each other again! I also firmly believe that he would not be where he is today if I had not figured out my own stuff.

These troubled teen years were the toughest of my life, and I found there was very little help out there for the parents going through it – especially from someone who had been there. I really could have used some support and understanding!

Now, I’m committed to helping you — the mom dealing with the desperation and heartache of having an out-of-control teen – survive these years and rebuild your relationship with your teen.

So I wrote my book, Surviving the High School Years with Your Sanity Intact: A Guide for Moms of Out-of-Control Teens.

And now I’m starting to work with moms directly. I so want to be there for you. We’ll cry together a little, but mostly I’ll help you work through all those overwhelming emotions. I’ll also help you get clear headed so that you can see what your next step should be. And I’ll help you find the way to create what you so desperately want: a renewed relationship with your child.

If you are interested in having somebody who has been where you are help you with this challenge and help turn things around, email me so we can talk about what that looks like.