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Parents The Relationship Bank Account

The Relationship Bank Account

A better relationship with your teen is what you really want, right? Let’s think of this like a bank account—your Relationship Bank Account, or RBA. You make deposits and withdrawals on a regular basis. The balance represents the amount of trust in your relationships.

I think it’s pretty safe to say that what’s a deposit for you may not be a deposit for your teen. Everyone is different. It’s kind of like with a partner or spouse. You may like getting little notes and cards with sweet sentiments on them, but your other half may not.

What means the most to him or her is a foot rub at the end of a long day. So you see, this is where getting to know each other is really important. You can’t make deposits if you don’t know what they are! Likewise, if you don’t know the other person, you could be making withdrawals all over the place and not even know it.

A deposit for your teen might be something like respecting his or her privacy by not barging into his or her bedroom without knocking. Seems simple, but most deposits are! They’re things like noticing and thanking your teen for even simple little things he or she may do around the house. Notice the good! Understand what’s important to your child. Be honest. Follow through on your commitments. Then they, in turn, will begin to do the same for you. (And in my 6 Decisions book, I encourage them to do the same things!) Review the 5 Things That Annoy Teens list covered earlier and use it to figure out some deposits you could make. Or even better—ask!