Building Stronger Parent-Child Relationships: A Conversation with Jenny Brown

In this episode, I had the pleasure of speaking with Jenny Brown, who has developed a project aimed at supporting parents in navigating the challenges of parenting adolescents.

I first came across Jenny in my family therapy studies, and her work has left a lasting impression on me. Her dedication to understanding and helping parents in their journey of raising kids and teenagers has been influential in my own work as a family therapist.

Throughout our discussion, we touched upon various aspects of parenting during the adolescent years. Jenny shares her expertise and offers valuable insights and guidance on improving parent-child relationships.

Key takeaways

Background and Project: Jenny Brown discusses how the Parent Hope Project is rooted in her earlier article, “We Don’t Need Your Help But Can You Please Fix Our Children?” She emphasises the importance of involving parents in therapy, as the parent-child relationship is a crucial part of the therapeutic process.

Communication and Tone: Jenny and I talk about the importance of effective communication between parents and adolescents. We highlight the significance of shifting from a controlling or passive-aggressive tone to one that encourages open dialogue and collaboration.

Empathy and Understanding: The conversation emphasises the importance of empathy for parents and young people. Understanding the challenges and mixed messages that adolescents often convey and how parents can navigate some of these difficult conversations

Making a Project out of Yourself: Jenny advises parents to shift their focus from trying to change their child to making a project out of themselves. This means being aware of their emotional tone, adjusting their communication, and allowing their child space to grow and develop their own identity.

 It’s never too late to make a change to how you relate to your young person.

Jenny Brown

About your guest Jenny Brown

Dr Jenny Brown has been working in the field of child and family mental health and family therapy since the 1980’s. She has been a trainer and supervisor in the field in Australia and internationally for over 20 years. Jenny is Emeritus Executive Director of the Family Systems Institute Sydney, which she co-founded in 2004. She currently directs the Family Systems Practice and the Parent Hope Project (manualized interventions in child mental health). She is a clinical member and supervisor for the Australian Association of Family Therapy and, in 2018, received the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy award for distinguished contribution to family therapy in Australia. In 2022 she received the annual research award from Bowen Centre for the Study of the Family in Washington DC.

Connect with Jenny; 

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